There’s nothing more luscious than a fresh summer peach.
On Long Island, this year’s crop has been even more luscious than usual. Before we switch over to Fall’s Apples, bake this Fresh Peach Cake. It’s from Ina Garten so right off you know it’s going to simple and the results are almost guaranteed. You can also take a clue from the Ina title this recipe came from: “How Easy is That?” (Clarkson Potter 2010). In all of 15 minutes, Andrew got this into the oven. 50 minutes later and he’d created a moist, cake with a wedge of peaches in every bite, the crunch of cinnamon-flavored pecans in the topping. It’s the kind of cake you can enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning, a cup of tea in the afternoon, and, if you have any left, it’s a wonderful dessert with dinner.
The State of Georgia has long called itself the Peachtree State.
Georgia is rightfully proud of its peaches. But it may come as a shock to know, the peach and its cousin the nectarine (Prunus persica) is native to Northwest China where it was first domesticated. Its botanical name is a nod to Persia (today’s Iran) where it was widely cultivated before making the leap to Europe. Prunus is the family that includes the cherry, apricot, almond, and plum. The peach is closest to the almond. The kernel inside its corrugated pit tastes very much like an almond. It’s often used to make a cheaper version of marzipan called persipan. Despite Georgia’s pride in its peaches, China still produces 62 percent of the world’s peaches and nectarines. Here’s the recipe for Ina’s Fresh Peach Cake. And after it, a couple of other ways to enjoy fresh peaches.
Ina Garten's Fresh Peach Cake
A slice of peach in every bite along with the crunch of cinnamon pecans makes this a superb cake for any time of day.
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
- Step 2 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
- Step 3 Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
- Step 4 Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.