Last month I went to my parent’s place. Of the many fun and summery things we did, my favorite was picking their peach tree. When we arrived, the tree hung so heavy with fruit, that the limbs touched the ground. Day by day we picked the ripe ones. By the time I left not a single fruit remained on the tree. In a matter of three days we picked, processed and froze over 20 quarts of peaches. Of course many did not make it to the freezer. Oh so many were spoiled, molded or over-ripe and left on the ground for the birds, raccoon and (hopefully not) the bears. Dozens more were eaten, fresh off the tree, still warm from the sun. But perhaps the luckiest of them made their way into the first several versions of this recipe.
Today, on the first fall-like day of this year, I did my final test of this recipe I’ve been working on for the past month. My little girl and I have tested all of them and agree that this is the version that shines. It’s simple, sweet and peachy. It works with frozen fruit just as well as fresh fruit and looks impressive too.
There really isn’t anything that I don’t love about this recipe. It’s fast, it’s easy, it looks AMAZING when you turn it out, it makes the house smell good, it makes you happy, it cleans, it does windows… Okay, so maybe not, but I do love the warm sticky caramel sauce that forms in the pan. Leftovers will absorb this sauce, but that is what keeps the cake from drying out. It reminds me a bit of sticky toffee pudding, minus the dates. No ice cream is needed either, maybe a little lightly-sweetened whipped cream, or you could just eat it warm as it is just out of the oven – but whatever you do eat it fast, because it, like peach season, won’t last long. Enjoy!
Here are a few other peach recipes to help you use up all your peaches:
- Mom’s Kitchen Handbook’s Peach-Mango Smoothie
- The Lemon Bowl’s Gluten-Free Peach French Toast Bake
- Cooking Light’s Peach Basil Shortcake
- Country Cleaver’s Mini Plum and Peach Bourbon Cobblers
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 4 large peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup half & half
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine 1 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons (half a stick) butter in a large 12" skillet or deep-sided frying pan (a large cast-iron skillet works well). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Add the peaches and return to a simmer. Allow the peaches and sugar to simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the peaches to release their juices and help make sure the sugar melts.
- While the peaches are cooking, make the cake by combining the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter into small pieces and then cut it into the flour until the butter is in very small pieces. Add the half and half and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the batter over the peaches, lightly spreading it to the edges (it will not completely cover the top of the peaches). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling. (a toothpick should come out clean, but the sauce may make this test difficult). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Cover the cake with a large serving plate and invert quickly over a sink to prevent the sauce from flying all over the place. Serve immediately. Leftovers should be refrigerated.
- If you are using frozen peaches, use 4 cups.