7.30.2013

A Summer's Cake

Friends Lynn and Lee recently introduced me to a cake recipe that was posted on Smitten Kitchen, "adapted, only slightly, from Martha Stewart."

The cake is called a Strawberry Summer Cake. Lynn said she and Lee switch out the fruit all the time.

Like the ever-changing rumor in "Chicken Little," I suspect we are getting further and further away from Ms. Stewart's original, although I have never seen it.

For my first pass, I followed the recipe and used strawberries. Well, I almost followed the recipe. I had strawberries from the farmers market, but not enough. I had some apricots too, so I married them and it was delightful.

The second time round, and what you see today, includes peaches and cherries, also from the market. Yummy!

Nuts. The third time I used ground almonds to compliment fruits. And my fruits for this version were raspberries and blackberries.

Do you see a pattern here? This recipe is a great jumping off point for a simple and flavorful summer desert. It is, in essence, the perfect fruit cake... a summer fruit cake, though, and not one you will be desperate to give away.

I make it in a deep dish pie plate, as Smitten Kitchen suggested, but a cake pan is fine. Just make sure it is 9 inches in diameter with 2-inch high sides.

Maybe next time I’ll try peach-lavender, or use some other herbs in the batter.

I hope you have fun with this - we certainly are!

~ David

Peach and Cherry Summer Cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for pie plate

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup almond meal)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound cherries, pitted
1/2 pound peaches, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch, deep-dish pie plate or 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides.


Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 scant cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. It will look curdled. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.


Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange fruit on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.


Bake cake for 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges.


Serves.

24 comments:

  1. This is a definite "must try". Hope mine looks half as good as yours.

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    1. I am sure yours will look just as good! Maybe even better!

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  2. The last combination sounds like the best, but then, cherries always do the trick for me. A lovely, simple and perfect afternoon cake! Here we´d eat it for tea time, which is our third meal, before dinner.

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    1. Both Mark and I agree with you - this is the perfect cake for afternoon tea or (in Britain) morning "elevenses." I am thinking blueberries may be next now... with lavender!

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  3. WOW! This looks amazingly delectable! And another beautiful ceramic.

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    1. Don't we all love our fun ceramics? I think it is half the fun of reading everyone's blogs - seeing all their fun kitchen stuff!

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  4. Three times already and you're planning the fourth?!
    Ok, I'm baking one right now, D! xo

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    1. Fourth has now passed and I am onto my fifth! :) Hope you like it, Colette!

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  5. Oh wow I love this cake, the variations are endless. I think I would even try it warm with some vanilla ice cream!

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    1. Karen - of course everything IS better with a little melting vanilla ice cream...

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  6. I've had this at Toad Spit Fall's, the east coast version. I think I need to plan a trip to sample the west coast version now! As I was reading this the other day I thought "HEY! I KNOW that cake!!" Not only am I a FOD&M, and a FOL&L! Thanks for another tasty post David! XO

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    1. I thought you might recognize the cake, Karin!

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  7. David, oh, I can certainly relate to that recipe - I have a similar summer fruit cake recipe as well - it is wonderful and essential to have such a delicious "base cake" recipe and be able to vary the toppings according to what is in season! I love your pretty baking dish and all the pictures are wonderful and summery!
    P.S.: Congratulations again!!!

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    1. Vielen Dank, Andrea! I had a nice email from a woman here in the States who is from Germany and simply remembers this cake as "Kuchen." Sounds like what you are thinking, too. Like you, I love using fun dishes, plates, napkins and such when I take photos... even the most plan of foods look good next to something pretty!

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  8. that is all my favourite toppings.

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    1. Thanks! I have so many favorite toppings that it is hard to decide which to use!

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  9. What a gorgeous Summery cake David! Your first few photographs of the cherries and stonefruit had me in a sweet daze of sunshine for at least 10 minutes (a sizeable feat actually, as it's ridiculously grey and cold here today!). The batter looks beautifully soft and moist, and I love the fact that the fruit can be changed according to season and availability (I think Martha would be proud of your versions!). Love the idea of the apricots... ah, you've got me longing for summertime!! Love this post :)

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    1. Laura - sorry the weather is so gray and cold! I hate that and get really cranky when I don't get enough sun! I just got asked to make this cake with blueberries for a staff birthday. Think I will sneak in some lavender... Don't worry - your summer will be here before you know it! I know because ours is going past very quickly!

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  10. This is a perfectly summery cake! Very nice - looks like you just walked in the door from the Farmers' Market! Lovely.

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    1. You guessed it, Susan! I was about 10 minutes in the door form the market when I made this. Thanks for your nice comment!

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  11. Just mouthwatering…looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Kalyan! I was just looking on the Silk Road and it is a beautiful blog. I look forward to reading more.

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  12. How did I not comment on this earlier?! I thought it looked scrumptious the first time I read it and still do--I want to make it now that we have some peaches!

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    1. I know you will like this cake - as much for its simplicity as for its great flavor!

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