August 1, 2020

Peach Streusel Cake


The yellow peaches at the farmer's market were looking especially nice so I had to make a repeat of the Summer Peach Cake, but this time with a twist.   The original Cook's Illustrated recipe calls for putting the oven roasted peaches in between the cake batter and then topping with fresh peach slices.  But after making the Blueberry Crumb Bars recently I had streusel on the brain and that's how I came up with this Peach Streusel Cake, a mash up of the two recipes.  I loved the idea of the crunchy topping to contrast the soft fruit.


It couldn't be simpler to make since there's no layering involved.  Make the streusel, roast some peach chunks, make the cake batter and then assemble.  Easy peasy!  For the cake in this post I made a 6-inch cake using 1/2 the cake recipe.  NOTE: For the streusel I made the full recipe but you won't use it all.  I just like having extra in the fridge to make more crumb bars or for other baking.  

Just as I had hoped the finished cake was really delicious.  You could easily serve it for breakfast but it's also nice as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche.  If you like peaches then this cake is for you.


Peach Streusel Cake

Makes one 9" cake

Streusel 
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.  Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg.  Set aside.

Cake
1 1/2 pounds peaches, pitted and cut in to 1/2 inch-thick wedges
2 tablespoons peach schnapps or orange liqueur
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons + 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 (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs, finely crushed
Preheat oven to 425F.

Cut peach wedges crosswise into thirds. Gently toss chunks with schnapps, remaining 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. 

Spray a 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. 

Transfer 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.  Sprinkle enought streusel over the peaches to cover, about 1 cup.
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.



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