Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Peach Cake

When we first started this blog, I said I wasn't into making complicated desserts. I was just a mix and bake kind of a girl. This dessert is making a big fat liar out of me.

Perhaps having a cooking blog has pushed me to try a little harder in the dessert department. Or maybe I just wanted to use my new springform pan. Or maybe I just wanted to make something awesome with summer peaches while they're still here. The thing is, this dessert required way more effort than I'd normally want to expend for one little cake. It's a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so naturally, it has a thousand steps, yet it is also super-delicious. Trade-off.

It's probably not as complicated as making a peach pie, though. If you see me making double-crust pies on here, then you'll know I've officially lost my mind. You have to draw the line somewhere.

We had a little BBQ at our house over Labor Day weekend with John's family (hi Fred!), and this cake followed a pretty serious pulled pork dinner. A slice of this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was the perfect way to end the meal, and bid a fond farewell to summer.

Summer Peach Cake
from Cook's Illustrated

Note: If using farm-fresh peaches, you should omit the peach Schnapps (I omitted). Also, the addition of Panko breadcrumbs seems weird, but I promise you won't notice them in the cake. They help to absorb the excess juices so your cake won't get soggy.


2 1/2 pounds peaches , pitted and cut into 1/2 inch-thick wedges
5 tablespoons peach schnapps
4 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs, finely crushed


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Gently toss 24 peach wedges with 2 tablespoons schnapps, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in bowl; set aside.

2. Cut remaining peach wedges crosswise into thirds. Gently toss chunks with remaining 3 tablespoons schnapps, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in bowl. Spread peach chunks in single layer on prepared sheet and bake until exuded juices begin to thicken and caramelize at edges of sheet, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let peaches cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and eggs together in second bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Transfer half of batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle crushed bread crumbs evenly over cooled peach chunks and gently toss to coat. Arrange peach chunks on batter in even layer, gently pressing peaches into batter. Gently spread remaining batter over peach chunks and smooth top. Arrange reserved peach wedges, slightly overlapped, in ring over surface of cake, placing smaller wedges in center. Stir together remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and remaining 1/8 teaspoon almond extract in small bowl until sugar is moistened. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over top of cake.

5. Bake until center of cake is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 8 to 10

Download a printable recipe.

Yes, my plate does say, "Hot Mess"


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Tampa BookWorm said...

Do you think I could use peach vodka in place of peach schnapps in this recipe??

Bec said...

Tampa BookWorm: I'm not sure how it would work, since I didn't actually use the schnapps. If you're using fresh peaches, I would leave it out, or maybe use a little less of the peach vodka (2 to 3 tbsp). Good luck!

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Unknown said...

That peach cake is literally making me salivate. I remember having something similar in an italian restaurant in Northwest Houston and have longed for it ever since.

Unknown said...

I have been wanting to go to an authentic Italian restaurant for awhile now and I am just hoping that I can. I have been told so many great things about their food and how great it is prepared. I am really excited to go and see what all that they have to offer.
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My grandpa was from Italy and he sure did love his native food. He was very critical of Italian restaurants and he knew his stuff. I always told him he should open up his own Italian restaurant but he never did. He sure did know to make some amazing dishes and I wish I had his talent.

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My wife and I took a job reassignment to Alaska. My wife is struggling with the transition. I want to take her out for Italian Food (her favorite) as a way to get her to strive to cheer up a bit. What is the best Italian place in Juneau?

obat darah tinggi said...

great it in the summer ?

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obat ace maxs said...

nice food summer :)

john said...

Nice post

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