I debated posting this dessert now. I mean, it is in the middle of winter, and there are no stone fruits to be seen. To be fair, I made this cake in August, but I saw Think Spice was featuring vanilla this month. Vanilla is one of my favourite spices.. but which recipe to post? I had already previously posted about the Cranberry Buckle with a heavenly vanilla crumb, so that was out… but I remembered my fantastic peach tea cake from the same cookbook, Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. And it contains a whole tablespoon of vanilla! With the fresh peaches dancing in the middle, this was one of my best cakes ever. The batter was dense, heavily but wonderfully filled with vanilla essence, but moist, too, especially if you err more on the side of baking just until it is done – do not overbake!
Please save the recipe until the summer, when fresh peaches are overabundant… or if you are from the Southern hemisphere, you can enjoy it now. :)
Stone Fruit Tea Cake (Peach Tea Cake)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 -1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mixed stone fruit, fresh or frozen (I used 3 cups of fresh peaches, approximately 4-5 peaches)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (omitted)
1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture and stir just until smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a 1-inch thick disk, and freeze for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375F. 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. Spread the fruit over the dough. Break the remainder of the dough into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute atop the fruit, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the dessert.
3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Wrapped in plastic wrap, this tea cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the unbaked dough; if wrapped well, it will keep for up to 3 months. You can freeze a whole, unbaked cake with fruit, wrapped well for 1 month.
Serves 10 to 12