easy peachy – peach almond cake
Peaches were considered the favorite fruit of the Chinese emperors and were first mentioned in writing dated back to 10th century AD. The Persians introduced the “Persian apple” to the Romans, and it later made its way to Europe with the help of Alexander the Great.
Peaches arrived in the New World colonies in 17th century when an English horticulturist planted them in his Virginia estate; but it’s the American Indians who actually brought seeds with them during their travels and spread the peach trees across America.
Peaches are the second largest crop in the US, second to apples. Although southern states lead in commercial production, the fruit also grows also in other states such as California, Colorado, Michigan, and New York. The common yellow peaches are not only a good source for vitamin C and dietary fiber, they also supplies beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
Since I don’t have a lot of storage space for canned peaches nor do I have the pleasure to enjoy the fresh peaches due to my allergies, I use them in desserts as often as possible.
This easy almond paste-based cake is the perfect vessel to highlight the sweetness of the peaches. With thinly sliced peaches layered on top, this cake can easily be served at breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee, or as an after dinner dessert. Fancy it up with a dollop of vanilla-scented whipped cream, ice cream or (if you don’t have my allergy issue) additional fresh peaches.
Peach Almond Cake
- 1-3/4 cups (8-3/4 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (7 ounces) plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 7 ounces almond paste, grated
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 3 firm but ripe peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
- Apricot Rum Glaze (recipe to follow)
- 1/4 cup apricot jelly
- 1 tablespoon rum
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Generously buttered and flour a 10-inch fluted quiche pan or 9-inch cake pan, set aside.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar and almond paste at medium-low speed until combined. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl.
3. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to medium-low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with coconut, milk end with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and stir with rubber spatula to finish. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with small off-set spatula.
4. Arrange the peach slices, overlapping slightly, on top of the batter in a circular pattern (you might not need all the slices) and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool on rack for 20 minutes before glazing
1. Combine apricot jelly and rum in a small saucepan and warm mixture until loose and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until combined. Brush glaze over the top of peaches and cake. Let set for 15 minute before serving.