Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

This is the peach tart I brought for trapeza. It is so, so good--especially warm from the oven--and very simple to make. It can be made with any type of stone fruit, but I've only ever used peaches and nectarines. This is from Rustic Fruit Desserts, which has a multitude of recipes organized by seasonal availability of fruit, but extremely adaptable and versatile. Everything I've tried from this cookbook has been delicious!

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (or slightly less table salt)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature, for the pan
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped stone fruit, fresh or frozen (any variety, unpeeled is fine)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar*

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speen for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each, and then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just till a smooth, sticky dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a disc, and freeze for 30 minutes (it will be too sticky to handle, otherwise).**

Meanwhile, prepare your fruit. When the dough is well-chilled, preheat the oven to 375. Butter a shallow 10-inch round baking pan or tart pan.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan (butter your fingers or the spoon so the dough won't stick quite so much). Spread the fruit evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges. Break the rest of the dough into tablespoon-sized pieces and scatter them over the fruit, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

* Turbinado sugar is coarse, raw sugar crystals. Most grocery stores will have it in the baking section, or I buy from Sprouts in bulk. It's a wonderful finishing touch, but I've forgotten them before and nothing bad happened. : )

**You can store the dough in the freezer for longer if needed; just soften slightly before continuing with the recipe.

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