Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Few Dimply Peach Cakes


Italian prune plums have always signaled autumn in my family.  We had a prune plum tree in the backyard of the house in which I grew up, and they were always used in a specific family recipe (more on that in an upcoming post).  So when I saw them popping up at the store, I knew summer was over.  I also knew that I had to use them, and fast, since their season is notoriously fleeting.  It was after this first sighting that I bookmarked Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Dimply Plum Cake from the canonical Baking from My Home to Yours.
  


However, although those prune plums were the point of the exercise, I've decided to save them for something a little more special, and take Ms. Greenspan up on one of her suggested variations for this "brown sugar coffee cake."  So instead of plums, I used peaches, and instead of orange zest, I used lemon.  I didn't have any cardamom on hand (and neither did the stupid, always poorly stocked grocery store down the street), so I used ginger instead.  But when I happen on cardamom, you can bet I'll pick some up for next time!




Little Dimply Peach Cakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed, light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Peaches for the top (pitted, and sliced)




Oven preheated to 350, with a rack in the center.  Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan (or use ramekins and mini loaf pans, like I did).  Whisk the first 3 ingredients together.

With a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on medium speed, beat the butter until it's light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar, beat for 2 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.  Beat in the zest, oil and vanilla.  Turn the speed down to low and slowly add the dry mixture, mixing only until the ingredients are incorporated.  

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan(s) and arrange the peach slices on top.

Bake for about 40 minutes (depending on what kind of pan you used) until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan, on a rack for 15 minutes.





8 comments:

croquecamille said...

Looks delicious! I've tagged you with a book-related tag. It's really quick - come see what it is!

Anjuli Ayer said...

Looks fantastic. Love the photos. Where do you procure these plums? I want some before they disappear!

DolceCakes said...

Beautiful! I was thinking of trying these in cupcake form.. Should I use Peach, Plum, or Cherry, in your opinion?

Laurie said...

Peaches, plums, experiments, failure and SUCCESS. These things add up to a great food blog. Keep cooking and blogging. I'll check back...

Lauren said...

Hi Andrea.
Thanks for your comments on my blog, tastype.blogspot.com. I really like your blog too! And your photos are gorgeous. I'm going to add you to my blog list.

Sharon said...

I love your use of peaches in these cute cakes. I have a set of ramekins that are rarely used, so this may be an excuse to pull them out of the dregs of my cupboard!

jen said...

I remember seeing this photo on Tastespotting. It' one of my faves. I love the colors. And those cakes look so delicious and in season! Don't you love this time of year? The best baking is happening all over the place.

Alexa said...

Oh, my...those pictures are stunning. Beautifully composed and these peach cakes look delicious.