A stunningly beautiful cake, bake it just once to see what I mean. If you can't find orange blossom honey, substitute any honey you think tastes wonderful or you already have in your crappy little pantry.
3 fresh peaches, halved and pitted (about 1 pound)
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup orange blossom honey
6 ounces plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
Powdered sugar, as needed
Whipped cream, as needed
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C; Gas Mark 4) . Slice each peach half into four wedges. Place them in your 1-quart stockpot and stir in the lemon juice, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat this over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the peaches soften slightly and the juices thicken. Set this aside to cool.
2 Line the bottom of a round 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using your whisk, beat the 6 ounces of butter, sugar, 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of lime zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The butter must be at room temperature to whip up easily. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition before adding the next. Fold in the flour mixture by gently putting your spatula in the center of the bowl and pulling it toward you while scraping the spatula along the bottom. When the spatula breaks the surface of the batter, turn the bowl about an inch, and start again. Each time you pull up and then drop the spatula back into the center, you will fold the flour into the batter. Only do this for about 90 seconds or you will overmix the batter and your cake could turn out tough.
3 Pour the 1/2 cup of honey evenly over the bottom of the lined cake pan. Arrange the peaches in a single layer over the honey. I usually do mine to resemble a fan that goes in a circle, but make whatever pattern you find attractive. Carefully spoon the cake batter over the peaches, and spread it out evenly, while disturbing the peaches as little as possible.
4 Bake for 15 minutes. Then rotate the cake, reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C; Gas Mark 2) , and continue baking for 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown on top and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
5 Don't allow the cake to cool for more than 5 minutes or it will not easily release from the pan. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cake platter upside down over the cake pan. Using a towel to hold the hot cake pan, turn it upside down onto the platter.
6 Cut the cake into wedges and serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12
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