Do you remember that song “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States? Every time I see a big bowl of peaches the “millions of peaches” lyric pops into my head and I am suddenly transformed back to 5th grade. Peaches have now become my quintessential summertime fruit. Easy to wrap up in a napkin and toss in my purse or my new bike basket. Last night I was flipping through a Gourmet and came on a recipe for a Stone Fruit Tea Cake that just sounded too perfect. I had a bowl of peaches in my table, an hour to kill, and a lunch with one of my favorite people who is finally back in Chicago after a summer in Seattle filled with wedding craziness.
This really is properly called a tea cake because it isn’t too sweet and really lets the stone fruit shine through. The dough was really easy to work with because you do everything in the mixer and then let it freeze for half an hour and then treat it sorta like a mix of pie crust and biscuits. The recipe also calls for a tablespoon (not a typo) of vanilla extract and as a vanilla lover myself, I knew that it had to be good.
I threw in 3/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon for good measure and I sorta wish I had put in more. I bet it would be equally delicious with blueberries or any other fruit that you have on hand. I enjoyed a slice with my morning cup of coffee and everyone seemed to enjoy it as dessert after a simple steak sandwich lunch.
This recipe comes from a book called “Rustic Fruit Desserts” which is reviewed in the August 2009 Gourmet. If this recipe is any indication, this book is probably a winner.
Stone Fruit Tea Cake
From “Rustic Fruit Desserts” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson
P. 39 August 2009 Gourmet
Baking Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves 10 to 12
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
[3/4 -1 teaspoon cinnamon if you want]
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mixed stone fruit, fresh or frozen [I used 4 fresh peaches and couple have probably enjoyed it with one more]
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch thick disk, and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a shallow 10 inch round baking pan or tart pan. Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit over the dough. Break the remainder of the dough into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute atop the fruit, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the dessert.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Wrapped in plastic wrap, this tea cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the unbaked dough; if wrapped well, it will keep for up to 3 months. You can freeze a whole, unbaked cake with fruit, wrapped well for 1 month.