From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When seed crops here are cut, once green fields turn brown and the vibrant landscapes of spring and early summer nap, waiting for the drenching rains of fall to restore their verdant color. Fortunately, the late summer harvest brings a rainbow of color to the table and the vibrant hues of corn, tomatoes and peaches help brighten the monotony of the fallow landscape. Consciously or not, I'm drawn to their color and tend to overbuy produce with shades of red and gold. That, of course, means I'm always scrambling to use my purchases before they becomes fodder for the compost pile. This year, I went crazy with peaches, and despite canning and freezing quantities of them, I was still left with fruit that had to be eaten out of hand or used in baking. That led to a pie and a galette, and, for the first time, a trial of Ina Garten's Fresh Peach Cake. This is a wonderful snack cake that also works for breakfast or a brunch. The cake is moist and has a lovely crumb, but strangely enough, I found it lacking in fresh peach flavor. That is not the fault of the recipe and I attribute it to the peaches I was using. They seemed fine when eaten out of hand but they lost their oomph when baked. Next year, I'll try a different variety of peach to see if I can get better flavor. At any rate, I know you'll love this cake. I suspect that Ina fans have already made it, but I wanted to include her recipe for those of you who would like to give it a try. Here is how it is made.
Fresh Peach Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Ina Garten
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided use
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
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
2) Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until batter is smooth.
3) Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to batter and mix just until combined.
4) Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl.
5) Spread half of batter evenly in pan. Top with half of peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of sugar mixture. Spread remaining batter on top, arrange remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture and pecans.
6) Bake cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings.
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