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Baking for Rosh Hashana

Peach pecan cake

(Styling/Sheryl Julian And Lisa Zwirn; Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
September 8, 2010

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Serves 8

Peaches and pecans are a great combo, and this cake flaunts the last juicy-ripe peaches of summer. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
5 medium (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) ripe peaches
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Extra granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)
1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Cut the peaches in half (lengthwise), twist the halves in opposite directions to separate, and remove the pits. Cut the halves into 1-inch-thick wedges.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the pecans.

4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Mix in the vanilla. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until fully combined. The batter will be thick.

5. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the peaches, skin side up, in a concentric circle around the edge of the pan, slightly pressing them into the batter. Fill in the center with the remaining peaches. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

6. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the cake, then release the side of the pan. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Lisa Zwirn