Lately, my life has been revolving around sniffing, eating and baking a lot with stone fruits. And that’s no wonder since we’re slowly but surely reaching the peak of our most glorious season. These summertime sensations have been rolling into my kitchen like ambassadors of sheer bliss, fighting for my undivided attention. I’ve loved peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, nectarines and all their sensuous colorful varieties ever since I was a child, and that’s because they’ve always been and still are a constant presence in my grandma’s kitchen during summertime. They infuse the air with their addictive ambrosial perfume and you’re instantly hooked.
I wanted that perfume so badly in my kitchen these days, so I’ve decided to recreate one of my Grandma Vicki’s favorite summer cakes – Peach and Plum Cake. This is an updated version or better said my own version because my grandma usually prefers to make this cake with either plums or apricots. I like to give it a twist, more color and zing, and combine zesty plums and velvety peaches. But the great thing about this cake is that it’s so versatile; peaches, plums, apricots – you get to choose.
This sweet creation is always a must during the hot months. And it’s not because stone fruits are widely popular but because it’s a mouthwatering sweet treat. You simply can’t resist it! And for me this cake brings back so many wonderful memories of my summers in good old Transylvania. So, when I made it the delicate ambrosial aroma invaded the entire apartment while the cake was still bubbling in the oven and the fruits were slowly sinking into the buttery dough. When it was done, I took a bite immediately. The luscious flesh of the peaches made them so meaty and sugary, a perfect contrast to the juicy and tart plums. And then there was the soft, springy, sweet dough. Heavenly…
What have you been baking lately or what summer fruits fascinate you? I’d love to hear from you!
Peach and Plum Cake
By Simply Romanesco inspired by my Grandma Vicki
Serves: 24 squares
· 250 grams (2 sticks and 2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 6 large eggs, at room temperature
· 300 grams (1 1/3 cup) granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 300 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
· 8 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
· Small pinch of salt
· 1 kilogram (2 pounds) – 500 grams (1 pound) each plums (pitted and sliced), and peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced) – feel free to use whatever variety of peaches and plums you love; you can even use frozen peaches and plums; you can also use apricots if you so desire (peeled, pitted and sliced)
· Confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 14 by 10-inch baking pan with butter and flour.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium-low speed beat the butter with the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract for about 2-3 minutes until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the color is light yellow. In batches, add the flour and baking powder mixture and beat until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until they hold medium-firm peaks. In batches, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Pour the obtained batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the fruits on top alternating the peaches and plums to create a colorful stripelike display. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of granulated sugar over each slice of peach and plum. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown, a tester comes out clean and the fruits have submerged into the dough. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack. Slice the cake into squares and carefully take the squares out of the pan and arrange them on a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and indulge!
Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)