Saturday, August 13, 2016

Peaches!

You know here in the Garden State, we’re all about #Jerseyfresh produce, and summer is the time when it really gets into high gear. Jersey peaches are something I look forward to every year, but they don’t come into their prime until July through September. So when I saw an article in Food & Wine raving about peaches from a small, specialty grower in Georgia, I decided to splurge and order a box.

Whoa! Wow! Wonderful! And, of course, OMG!

My order of Georgia peaches sent from The Peach Truck arrived on a Friday, perfectly timed for weekend eating and baking. When I opened the box, I found thirteen beautiful peaches, carefully wrapped in paper, packed in foam to prevent bruising, and at peak ripeness. When I picked one up and held it to my nose, that’s where the first “wow” came out of my mouth. It was the aroma and essence of summer. 

Now, what to do with these beauties? Well, of course, the opportunities were endless. I knew I would bake something, but what? Right now, I needed to sink my teeth into one of these babies. Wonderful! The texture was perfect - no mealy, blah flesh. And sweetness like I’ve never had in a peach before. 

Now I was peach-obsessed! Need to eat them, use them, in EVERYTHING! 

I started with a little pre-dinner snack. How about Jersey tomatoes, Georgia peaches, homegrown basil, and fresh mozzarella? Whoa! This, my friends, is what summer is all about! We had this simple dish for lunch every day that weekend.

So, what did I bake with the peaches? I thought you’d never ask! There are zillions of peach recipes out there to choose from, but the folks at The Peach Truck have put together a lovely collection of recipes on their site and one, in particular, caught my eye. Their Fresh Peach Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel. Oh yeah…that’s got my name all over it. If you know anything about me, it’s that I will take a good coffee cake over any other type of sweet or dessert every time! And in reading the recipe, I just had a feeling that this was going to check every box on my “coffee cake must-haves.” Buttery? Check! Cinnamon? Check! Nuts? Check! And just for good measure, this recipe threw in one of my favorite spices: cardamom. 

Off I went to bake last Sunday morning! This makes a nice, big 9” cake, so you could make it for company, take some to work (as I did), or just keep it for yourself and eat it every day (as I did)! The cake is baked in a springform pan (essential so you don’t have to invert it and risk losing any of the incredible streusel!), and is easy to put together. The aroma in our house from the cardamom and cinnamon was heady. 

From the minute it came out of the oven, I was in love. A thing of beauty, I could see the streusel had baked to a perfect golden brown. After cooling, I released the cake from the pan, and waited (not so patiently) to cut it after dinner. 

OMG, people! This was the holy grail of coffee cakes! The body of the cake was super light with a fabulous buttery taste, intermingled with the incredible sweetness of those peaches. And the streusel was over-the-top amazing: sweet, crunchy, spicy. I know I’m gushing, but really, it is all that! If you’re a coffee cake fan (like me), MAKE THIS CAKE! 

Now for the bad news, peach season in Georgia is over, and The Peach Truck is sold out, but Jersey peaches are going strong. And wherever you are, use your local sweets. 

How good was this cake? So good, that I’m making it again today for dinner with friends. I have four peaches left and since the recipe calls for 2-3, believe me, I’ll be enjoying that last peach the old-fashioned way: out of hand, with those slurpy, sweet juices running down my chin.


Have a fabulous weekend!

Print recipe here!

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