End-of-Summer Peach Galette

IMG_3613Summer is my favorite season. I love the sweltering days leading into still-warm nights, the smell of sunscreen, and of course, all of the incredible produce summer has to offer. And my favorite of all of those wonderful fruits and vegetables are peaches. In New York, peaches had a pretty short growing season (July and August) and I would eat one pretty much every single day. IMG_3605I'm still getting used to the idea that here in California, there aren't really seasons--at least, not in the way that I'm used to them. The idea that it could be around 60 degrees in January boggles my mind (what do people talk about when they can't walk about the weather??) But one thing I will definitely be able to get used to is the amazing produce all year-round--and I can't say that I'll miss only being able to buy apples and root vegetables for six months of the year.

IMG_3614I made this galette last week when Ari's family came over for dinner--I love galettes because you get all of the flavor of pie but without the hassle of making a double crust or worrying about shaping the dough exactly right (plus, I don't have a pie tin.) I'm loving our new kitchen too (and the fact that it's a separate room! And there's a DISHWASHER! If you've ever lived in New York, you know that's not something to be taken lightly.) We're still getting settled into our new little cottage, but it's really starting to feel like home.

Peach Galette (Adapted from Home Made Summer, a truly beautiful cookbook)

For Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon sugar

9 tablespoons butter, very cold and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 (or more) tablespoons ice cold water

For Filling:

3-4 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

 

For Crust: Combine flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor or a large mixing bowl. Add butter and finely pulse or mix by hand until the butter is about pea-size. Slowly mix in apple cider vinegar and drops of water until dough comes together but isn't too sticky. Form a disc and wrap in plastic, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Combine sliced peaches, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl and let sit for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from fridge, then roll out crust on a lightly floured surface until it's about 14 inches in diameter. Place on parchment paper on to pot a baking sheet, then pile fruit in the center and fold up the edges around the fruit. It's ok if it's not perfect! Bake for about 35 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly, then serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream.

Peach Cake Tatin

_MG_5093 _MG_5076As you probably have noticed, I'm kind of obsessed with peaches. How many desserts can you really come up with that contain them, you might ask? Well, if you're me, a lot. Most of the time, I buy a dozen and eat them plain, but every now and then I like to do a little something special with them. This cake, from the inimitable Barefoot Contessa, combines two of my favorite dessert ideas -- a "tatin", which involves cooking the fruit in a rich caramel sauce until they are juicy and golden and delicious, and a lemony cake recipe which nicely offsets the fruit. Though I love traditional Tarte Tatin and will probably be making it sometime in the next few months, it takes a bit more work and fiddling to make a more complicated caramel and roll out tart dough. This cake, on the other hand, comes together in half an hour and is the perfect way to use up those end-of-season stone fruits -- you could also try it with plums, nectarines, apples, or pears if you are embracing fall produce._MG_5084

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It definitely doesn't feel like summer any more in New York, but as long as there are still a few peaches and tomatoes at the market, I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can._MG_5124

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Peach Cake Tatin (adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish 4-5 yellow or white peaches, pitted and quartered 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 1/3 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt Crème fraîche (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch cake pan and arrange the peaches in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the peaches.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the peaches and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then carefully invert the cake onto a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Peach Buttermilk Cake

Even though it's after Labor Day, I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. Though I love fall, and the thought of wearing boots and scarves again sends a little thrill up my spine, I'm still holding on to peaches, berries, and eating outside for as long as I can. I know that soon, the farmer's market will be filled with apples and squash for months, so I'm happy to enjoy the last summer fruit for as long as I can. This cake could also be made with plums or any kind of berries (as Deb does on Smitten Kicthen) -- I think that the buttermilk and lemon zest pair wonderfully with them all.  

Peach Buttermilk Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Zest of one lemon (optional) 1 large egg 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk 2 large peaches, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter peach slices evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Stone Fruit Cobbler

During the winter, I live for summer days when I can walk over to the farmer's market and pick up a bag of peaches. They are by far my favorite fruit, and though I think the best way to eat them is raw, I always need to make cobbler at least once per summer. Deceptively simple, you can use any combination of stone fruit and the results will be just as excellent. I had some peaches, nectarines, plums, and sour cherries lying around, so that's what I used -- but only peaches is wonderful too. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Stone Fruit Cobbler (adapted from Bon Appétit)

1 1/2 pounds assorted stone fruit, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8x8x2 baking dish (or a 9-inch cake pan in my case), mix fruit with sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer,beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat just until dough comes together. Drop by the teaspoonful onto fruit. Bake until topping is golden brown and fruit juices are bubbling, 50-55 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.