Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peach Cake with Peach Schnapps is a Great Way to Use Summer Peaches

Peach Cake Uses Summer Peaches and Peach Schnapps

The theme for Recipe Redux for July is to show others how you like to cook, bake, or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts or other alcohols. What’s your healthy recipe with spirit? What immediately came to my mind was a great tasting and great looking peach cake I made several years back that uses peach schnapps to intensify the peach flavor of the cake.

I found this Summer Peach Cake recipe in the July/August 2011 issue of my favorite magazine, Cook’s Illustrated. I love this magazine because they do an outstanding job of creating wonderful recipes and testing them umpteen times to get just the right cooking method and the perfect amount or proportion of ingredients. You also refresh your memory or learn many food science concepts.

The peach cake uses 2 and a half pounds of fresh peaches in one 9-inch round cake. Prior to mixing the peaches in the cake, you bake the slices in the oven to help intensify their flavor and caramelize their juices in order to prevent a runny cake. Yvonne Ruperti, the person who created this recipe for Cook’s Illustrated, tried lots of ways to enhance the peach flavor, from using dried peaches to peach-flavored yogurt. The peach schnapps was the winner. I was extremely pleased with the final product. It looked fabulous, like I had spent a lot of time (which I didn’t). It tasted great and had great peach flavor.

By getting the peaches on sale, I was able to make this cake for $6.27 total, or $0.63 a serving for 10 servings. A great buy for an impressive-looking summer dessert.

Here is the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated:

Summer Peach Cake

From Cook’s Illustrated, July & August 2011, page 24-25.

Serves 8 to 10

2-1/2 pounds peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

5 tablespoons peach schnapps

4 teaspoons lemon juice

6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed (3-1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup sour cream

1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs, crushed fine

  1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Gently toss 24 peach wedges with 2 tablespoons schnapps, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in bowl; set aside.
  2. Cut remaining peach wedges crosswise into thirds. Gently toss chucks with remaining 3 tablespoons schnapps, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in bowl. Spread peach chunks in single layer on prepared sheet and bake until exuded juices begin to thicken and caramelize at edges of sheet, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let peaches cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and eggs together in second bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  4. Transfer half of batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle crushed bread crumbs evenly over cooled peach chunks and gently toss to coat. Arrange peach chunks on batter in even layer, gently pressing peaches into batter. Gently spread remaining batter over peach chunks and smooth top. Arrange reserved peach wedges, slightly overlapped, in ring over surface of cake, placing smaller wedges in center. Stir together remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and remaining 1/8 teaspoons almond extract in small bowl until sugar is moistened. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over top of cake.
  5. Bake until center of cake is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack cool 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Peach Cake Preparation
Be sure to check out these other spirit-inspired recipes.