There is an abundance of fruit this fall, and when Deb Suran, Deer Isle’s gifted orchardist, needed a home for over 50 pounds of peaches, I was happy to oblige. Intensely fragrant, perfectly ripe, sweet and juicy, with velvety, red-blushed skin and soft orange flesh, these peaches would not keep much longer than a day. To preserve the maximum flavor and nutrients, they needed processing, pronto.
In a preparation similar to making applesauce, I cut the flesh from the pit, and cooked the fruit until it was soft. Passing the cooked fruit through a food mill removed the skins, and the remaining peach sauce was quite sweet and delicious. Perfect as a base for jam, this peach puree could also be canned with a little lemon juice to increase the acidity, or frozen to be enjoyed throughout the winter.
Peach puree, just like applesauce, is also a tasty component in baked goods. It adds fiber and flavor to your muffins and cakes, and is often used as a way to decrease the fat.
The recipe for Spiced Peach Cake is adapted from an applesauce cake recipe. I particularly enjoy this preparation as it uses honey instead of sugar, which really highlights the flavor of the fruit. This is a wholesome cake that can be served for breakfast or as a morning snack.
For our last Dinner is Served meal, we made a fruit sauce with frozen raspberries, blueberries and blackberries and served it over Spiced Peach Cake for about 200 folks. Simple, elegant, and good for you! When life gives you peaches, make cake!
SPICED PEACH CAKE
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- ¾ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups unsweetened peach puree may substitute applesauce
- 1½ cup rolled oats ground to a flour in food processor or blender
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. In the bowl of your food processor or blender, process the rolled oats until fine and they are oat flour.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream the butter and the honey. Beat in the eggs and the peach puree or applesauce. In a medium bowl, combine the flours (oat, whole wheat, & all purpose), baking powder, baking soda and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Beat until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Yield: 16 pieces