What a dilemma! Is this a peach and blueberry cake? Sort of, there is a sort of cake that lines the pan and cups the fruit. Is it a peach and blueberry tart? Kind of, but not in the traditional sense, there is much more filling. Is it a peach and blueberry pie? Definitely not, even if the proportion of filling to cake is more like a deep-dish pie than a tart. There's just one solution. Make it and decide for yourself what this genre-bending summer dessert should be called.
"I suspended disbelief at the baking time ... it was wonderful! " ~ Mireille
"... it came out like a dream. Really delicious ..." ~ LeLo in NoPo
Come early August, there’s a brief window when the blueberries are still plentiful and inexpensive and the local peaches are ripe and luscious.
Last summer, there was no getting enough of this country-rustic cake. The peach man at the farmers market took notice, grinning each time I stopped by for another lug.
Cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, cherries and apricots are one thing. But peaches are heaven you can hold in your hand.
So hurry, don’t let this year’s peach and blueberry window close without trying this delicious cake. Along with the peach man, your family will soon be grinning.
BROWN SUGAR PEACHESFor a simple summer dessert, mix two tablespoons of brown sugar with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Gently stir in a pound of perfectly ripe sliced peaches, let macerate for about two hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with cream whipped with a bit of almond extract or cinnamon.
PEACH BLUEBERRY CAKE
Oven time: 1-3/4hours
- 1-1/2 cups (195g) flour
- 1/2 cup (90g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 113g) butter, diced
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup (90g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (20g) flour
- 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 pounds (900g) perfectly ripe peaches, peels on, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup blueberries
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
CAKE Briefly pulse the dry ingredients (see ALANNA’s TIPS) in a food processor (see TIPS). Add the butter and pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal with some pea-sized lumps of butter. Add egg and vanilla, pulse just until dough forms a ball. With floured hands, press dough, sides first, into a 9-inch springform pan (see TIPS). Refrigerate while mixing the fruit topping.
FRUIT TOPPING Preheat oven to 375F or 350F (see TIPS). Combine dry ingredients (see TIPS) in a large bowl, then stir in the fruit, zest and lemon juice. Spoon fruit topping evenly onto the crust.
BAKE Cover pan loosely with foil. Bake until filling is bubbly and the crust golden, about 1-3/4 hours. (It’s not a typo, this cake does indeed bake for nearly two hours. If you like, test the cake after an hour and every 15 minutes thereafter. I find it isn't needed but it might make you feel better to check! Do be sure to cover with foil so the top doesn’t burn.) Remove from oven and let rest: not to worry, the fruit filling will firm up as the cake cools.
SERVE Serve at room temperature. Frozen yogurt on the side is excellent, so is a spoonful of softly whipped cream, but really, no topping is needed.
Sugar | In 2008, I accidentally omitted the sugar in the fruit. But it's still plenty sweet and perhaps better if serving, say, for a morning bread, instead of a dessert.
Greasing the pan | To be careful, do grease the pan. I've had no trouble removing the cake from my springform pan, but others have.
Is It Cake? A Tart? A Pie?
You can see, here, that this is "almost" a peach blueberry pie. But somehow, it's still cake. No matter what you call this rustic fruit dessert, it looks and tastes like summer.
FYI, the fruit didn't set up here as much as it usually does. I suspect an hour in the fridge would have made it quite firm but I happen to like the soft, deep flavors of fruit served at room temperature so left it this way.
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