Do you like surprises? I find that people usually have a position on this, and I admit I fall in the ‘don’t like’ side of the surprise issue. I don’t remember any horrible experience, and don’t think of myself as controlling (my husband will disagree here – so maybe I should say unusually controlling), but there you have it. I’m not keen on surprises. I like knowing what I’m getting for Christmas – although one little surprise here and there is ok. I like to have all my hotels arranged for vacations before I get on the plane (especially if I’m traveling outside the US and am unfamiliar with the area, language, and alphabet), and I always research a movie before I find myself held captive in a darkened theater for a 3-hour tear-jerker of the decade, or Chainsaw Massacre 2.
But a web-based, blog-based surprise birthday party is something I can totally jump on board for. It’s Isabels’ birthday today and a whole bunch of us are throwing this surprise party for her. As far as we can tell, she has NO IDEA what we’ve been cooking up, literally.
First of all, Isabel is like Madonna and Cher – she needs only one name. You mention Isabel, and thousands of people know exactly who you mean. No one has to ask Isabel who. Isabel founded Sunday Supper, which we all take part in, created to bring families back to the dinner table for at least one evening a week: for Sunday Supper. You might have sports, dance, scouts, or dates other nights of the week that interfere with a family dinner, but Sunday is the day you all come together. It started as a mustard seed of an idea that grew into a weekly event. Sponsors started noticing #SundaySupper was trending on Sundays during twitter parties. Momentum grew, and Isabel just held her third (or was it the fourth) Food and Wine Conference in Orlando. It will be such fun to see what’s next – there’s always something new – and I’m so happy to be part of it. Thank you Isabel for all that you do – I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
I baked my favorite cake for you – Peach Cake, with a few berries thrown in for fun. And I think your Brie Cheese and Blackberry Bites would be perfect with it for a party! Enjoy your day today!!
Nectarines are fine if you don’t find ripened peaches.
You can peel the peaches or nectarines if you want to take the time to do it, but this is a very rustic dessert and I think it’s best with the fruit unpeeled.
Don’t use peaches that are too soft, as they’ll collapse into more of a sauce. I have my best success with peaches that are firm to the touch, yet press gently in at the area around the stem.
Pile on the peaches at the end. As the cake rises and expands, they’ll fill in the spaces. More really is better in this case.
If you’re not a fan of nutmeg, use allspice or cardamom.
Allow the cake to rest for at least 10 minutes before releasing it from the baking pan.
Summer Peach Cake with Blueberries
- 3 ripe peaches or nectarines unpeeled
- 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup 6.7 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan (I use a springform pan), cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom, and butter it as well. This is a moist cake because of all the fruit, and it can be difficult to release from the pan.
- Cut the peaches or nectarines into bite sized pieces. Toss with nutmeg and 2 Tbsp sugar.
- Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and remaining sugar until fluffy, about 5 - 6 minutes. Mix in the egg, buttermilk and extract.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Shift the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix only until just barely incorporated and finish with a rubber spatula. It will be very thick and somewhat lumpy.
- Scrape into the prepared pan with the rubber spatula. Spill the peaches and blueberries onto the top of the cake and gently press in. Don't worry that they're on top of each other in places. As the cake bakes, it will rise and the peaches will settle across the surface. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 325˚F and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. The center will be the last part to cook, so only check around that area.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.