How to Make a Garden-Fresh Peach Cake - Delishably - Food and Drink
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How to Make a Garden-Fresh Peach Cake

Penelope is retired but teaches English in Rome. She is a published feature writer, playwright and poet. She loves local Italian customs.

This recipe is delicious and will be loved by the whole family.

This recipe is delicious and will be loved by the whole family.

Garden Peach Cake

A Cake for Midsummer Festival or Middle of Winter

In the middle of summer, on the cusp of when the last peaches (percoca) are picked off the trees and the new grapes just begin to ripen on the pergola, I found chef Nigel Slater's recipe for this "Cake for Midsummer" in the Guardian Newspaper, which he so perfectly describes as "the very essence of summer."

His recipe inspired me to make my own version of his scrumptious almond-crumbly garden peach cake, which I made with the freshly-picked fruits growing on our trees (and vines) in the garden.

In the middle of winter, if you find a few grapes in your market, or with blueberries, you could easily make this fresh-tasting cake using canned peaches. Served hot with whipped cream this would make a perfect fruity pudding or desert. (Remember to dry the peaches with some paper toweling).

Ingredients for Garden Peach Cake

Ingredients for Garden Peach Cake

Garden Peach Cake for Summertime

The cake for summertime!  Garden Peach Cake

The cake for summertime! Garden Peach Cake

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour 10 min

1 hour 20 min

Serves eight to ten people

Ingredients

  • 175 g butter, salty
  • 175 g sugar, golden caster
  • 250 g peaches, ripe (or dried, from a can)
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g flour, self raising (or all purpose + baking powder)
  • 125 g almonds, ground
  • 150 g grapes (or blueberries, or berries)

Instructions

  1. Line the base of a cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Set the oven at 170° C / 338° F (gas mark 4)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  4. Chop up the washed peaches - with their skins on. It is Okay to squish them as you try to get the stones out!
  5. Wash and dry the grapes and cut into halves.
  6. Beat the eggs.
  7. Add the eggs, a little at a time, to the creamed butter and sugar.
  8. If there are signs of curdling, stir in a sprinkling of the flour.
  9. Mix the almonds, and flour together.
  10. Fold into the mixture, slowly - in two or three lots.
  11. Once mixed together add the chopped fruit.
  12. Scrape into the cake tin.
  13. Bake for 1 hour and 10 mins. (Test with a skewer to make sure the skewer comes out relatively clean at the end).
  14. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes.
  15. Remove onto a pretty plate - and serve as you like (hot or cold, with fruit or ice cream - or even custard).

The Percoca Peach or Clingstone Peach

The other name for them is Clingstone Peach.

Percoca or Clingstone peaches are the best to cook with because of their

  • firm texture,
  • aromatic flavor - a strong peach taste.
  • small stone which is smooth.

They are easy to identify at the market because they are a medium-sized peach, a deep yellow in color with an intense red hue.

Tinned peaches are usually made from this type of peach.

What Is Midsummer?

It is the summer solstice when magic is in the air, when the evil spirits were said to roam free because the sun was turning southwards again, when summer plants like St John's Wort had miraculous healing powers. It is largely a European celebration and since the European immigrants to the USA brought their midsummer traditions with them, it is celebrated throughout the States (and Canada) too. In NYC, Swedish Midsummer Celebrations are held in Battery Park New York City and Throgs Neck (on the Long Island Sound).

In Sweden it has been celebrated since before Christianity and is a sacrifice time "in the sign of fertility."

Midsummer Festival Party Dish

This garden-fresh peach cake is summery, and it's special enough - and easy to put together - that it would make a pretty Midsummer festival party cake, or a Summer Solstice cake to eat with ice cream (under the evening sun), served with vanilla ice cream. Perhaps you could pack it for a picnic too. You could take it to the woods at midnight, to the beach, to the music festival - any party or summer event; it's so pretty.

It's a versatile cake, different from 'fruit cakes' because the fruit tastes fresh (even if you serve it straight from the oven as a winter desert).

Grapes From the Pergola

Grapes from the pergola

Grapes from the pergola

Garden Peach Tree

Garden Peach Tree

Garden Peach Tree

Alice in Wonderland's Plum Cake

What Alice found - The lion and the Unicorn fighting over Alice's plumb cake

What Alice found - The lion and the Unicorn fighting over Alice's plumb cake

Light Sponge Cake

Summertime isn't traditionally a cake making time—in fact for many, cake tins are put away until autumn. It could be because it is so hot.

Summer cakes are delicious though—especially if they are light, fruity or fruit-jam tasting and pale in color—like the sun. (I'd go so far as to say they're better without 'spice' because spice is nice in autumn and winter.)

Garden Peach Cake is a light sponge really, with finely grated almonds and fruits folded into it—cooked very slowly so that the fruit breaks down—just enough. The peaches are sweet, but the grapes or blueberries are tart; the contrast is a wizz-bang on your palette.

Add to this the crunchy crust, the moist cake mixture, the roughness of the almonds—and you have a party festival in your mouth.

Cake and Ice Cream

Cake and ice cream

Cake and ice cream

© 2012 Penelope Hart

Comments

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 13, 2014:

Thanks for passing it on. Tastes so summery. Hope you enjoy it.

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on August 12, 2014:

What a delight. I've never thought of combining peaches and grapes. But now is the time, the end of peach season, the beginning of grape season. Voted up, shared, pin.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 27, 2013:

It's a knockout cake and so pleased and thank you so much for five stars! Hope you make it and love it!!

AnnaCia on June 26, 2013:

What a wonderful and refreshing hub. Fabulous photos and delicious recipes. Now I am in trouble, I want some…hehe. This hub deserves 5 stars. THANK you!!!!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 24, 2013:

Should be peach season in Texas, Florida, Oregan and California, so happy cake making everyone that has been kind enough to make such lovely comments here!

Thank you.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on June 21, 2013:

Wow, I have never had a cake with grapes in it. Sounds delightful. Love any dessert with peaches.

Leone Vidoni from Portland, Oregon on June 21, 2013:

O. MY. This sounds so delicious I'm salivating. I know, too much information! But yes, I need to make this with some wonderful Oregon Peaches. Thank You!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2013:

This is definitely a 5 star recipe. This looks delicious and not very difficult to make. Thanks for the recipe.

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on June 21, 2013:

Now this cake says summer! It looks absolutely delicious.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on June 21, 2013:

What a wonderful taste combination! Peaches are a big crop in Central Texas - people drive for miles to get them when they're in season. I love almond-flavored foods, too, so I am going to remember this one. Yummy!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 21, 2013:

That is such a great suggestion. Thanks. Perhaps I could make that note in my hub? I think it could be very to other celiac - ers.

Appreciated. I will!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 21, 2013:

GoodLady, I love peaches but I am not an almond person - however, i will pass this onto my sister because she has 2 at home who are celiac and this looks perfect for them as she could swap the flour for almond flour and get a good almondy hit (her 2 love almonds).

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 21, 2013:

The ground almonds with the fruit make it crunchy and moist and very, very summery.

Appreciate you dropping round and commenting, thanks! Hope you enjoy the cake.

Happy Solstice Day Melovy

Yvonne Spence from UK on June 21, 2013:

This looks amazing. I would love to have a peach tree in our garden - I love them so much, but our climate isn't warm enough. I love ground almonds in cakes, but would never have thought of using fresh grapes, so I will definitely have to try this soon.

Pinning this!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on November 21, 2012:

It's very easy! Hope you enjoy it Susan. You sound so enthusiastic which is so great! Thanks so much.

rebeccamealey. So pleased you like this cake. I took the photos the very first time I made it; it turned out so well. Many thanks for your comments.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 21, 2012:

The peach cake looks fantastic. It sounds pretty easy to make, too. I will look this back up when the peaches come in next year.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 21, 2012:

I'm heading out to the store shortly and I'll pick up some canned peaches, fresh grapes and blueberries as I have to try this recipe. Looks delicious and everyone here I'm sure will it enjoy it.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 28, 2012:

Hope your meal is a superb success. It's a knockout fruit recipe. Thanks for stopping by.

billips from Central Texas on August 28, 2012:

Great recipe, and for me it came just in time - I have been looking for a recipe that used a lot of fruit - nothing better than pastries that combine fruit and cake - I will be making this for company on Sunday, and I don't expect to have any leftovers - regards - B.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 16, 2012:

Yea! Me too. Thanks for 5 stars!!! Really appreciated. See you around HP. I'll look out for you.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 16, 2012:

It has 5 stars from me! I plan on making this often. I can't wait for summer's fresh peaches. I'm not much of a peach cobbler person, so this is my new go-to recipe. I'm so glad to meet you on HubPages. : )

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 16, 2012:

Glad it's your kind of cake jimmy - hope you or someone will make it for you this Midsummer.

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on August 16, 2012:

I love Peaches, I love cake and I love ice cream. This is the perfect hub for me and with a little extra topping, I thought Midsummer was just the day that was in the middle of the summer, now I know different.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe's and interesting information.....jimmy

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 16, 2012:

Oh WOW, you got back to me! Sounds very nice with whipped cream. Thanks so much. Did you rate it? The stars at the top.

I like it a lot too and will make it often.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 16, 2012:

Yes, I always stock these ingredients in my kitchen. It was wonderful! I ground the almonds in the blender and served it with whipped cream. I love the texture and it was just the right sweetness. I'll be using this recipe over and over again. Thank you!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 15, 2012:

Those ingredients should do the trick. How was it? Did you have the almonds? Enjoy!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 15, 2012:

I'm thrilled to have found this recipe as I have company coming and want to make a quick dessert. I have tinned peaches...none fresh this time of year...and dried blueberries. I'm heading to the kitchen right now. Thanks so much!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 15, 2012:

So glad you found us! It's really good, so hope you try it. Thanks.

Amanda from Mississippi on August 15, 2012:

Oh my goodness! This has my mouth watering.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 14, 2012:

Thanks! It looks yummy and easy...two main criteria I go by when checking a recipe's usefulness. :)

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 14, 2012:

Thanks for linking. I'll do the same when back online (on iPhone now). It's a super recipe so hope you'll enjoy!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 14, 2012:

Hi Good Lady-what an appealing recipe! I recently made a peach pie (and hub) and I'll link this recipe with mine. Thanks for sharing this gem. :) Rated up and shared.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 14, 2012:

So come on over! Or next time I come to California I'll pop by your house and we can make it there. Till then, hope you make it and love love love it! lol, thanks.

Om Paramapoonya on August 14, 2012:

What a delightful recipe! I would love, love, love to try your peach cake. So when are you inviting me over? lol

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 13, 2012:

It's quite a big cake so perfect for large gatherings. I'd love to hear what you think. Many thanks.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 13, 2012:

This looks absolutely delicious. Summertime is a great time for anything made with fruit. I will be trying your peach cake. Thank you.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on August 13, 2012:

You will LOVE it! Let me know and please don't forget the ice cream.

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on August 13, 2012:

Looks yummy; I love peaches and peach pie so will have to give this a try.