While I’m so excited for fall (mostly boots and slouchy sweaters), I’m all about making the most of summer fruit before it disappears. After I made this peach cake at home a few weeks ago, I brought back to DC with a me a few extra Jersey peaches. I was planning to meet a few friends that weekend for coffee around the city, and I wanted to bring them a little treat to thank them for being awesome during my job transition.
This was my first time making scones and I found this recipe to be so simple. I’d make them again for a weekend brunch and maybe add plums, raspberries, or orange zest this time. Grab one with your morning coffee, read a magazine, and soak in the sunshine before it’s all pumpkin and plaid out there. So what are you cooking/baking this lovely summer weekend?
Makes 8 scones. Adapted from Tyler Florence
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar + extra for dusting
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Sift together the the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a pastry attachment (I keep mine in the freezer), cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
- Fold the peaches carefully into the batter. Make a well in the center of the batter and pour in the heavy cream. Using your hands, fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Prepare a lightly floured surface and press the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 6 inches. Cut into 8 rectangles.
- Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle with some extra sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 until the tops have browned a little. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I’ve been delighted to get back in the kitchen recently. Cooking dinner for myself is one of my favorite ways to relax and be inspired. It’s been great to do more of that in the last few weeks. But another thing I’ve missed is cooking with friends. One of my very good friends is lucky enough to have a big fig tree in her backyard. (Yes, in the middle of the city!) Last year she and I started a little “Fig Fest” tradition where we spend the day cooking with this beautiful ripe fruit.
We invited a few other people to join us – someone who lived down the hall freshman year, a former co-worker, a fellow food-blogger turned friend, a bocce team member, a friend’s classmate from grad school. This is one of my favorite things about being 26 in DC. Our networks have grown and it’s no big deal to mesh them together for an afternoon. We end up making new friends over making cocktails, August playlists, and discovering mutual experiences (like mice in our apartments or great first dates).
Sarah and Jenn whipped up these Bourbon Fig Fizzes for everyone and after Mike climbed down from picking the fruit we couldn’t reach, we toasted under the fig tree. Sunday afternoon. No plans but eating. Mason jars and cute mugs. Between rain storms. Cheers to the figs.
Sarah and Sabiha prepped the ingredients for a savory fig chutney. The smell of vinegar and onions filled the kitchen. It would be a while until the chutney was ready and we needed some food to fill out fig-hungry stomaches. While I kept an eye on the stove, I quickly whipped up some little bites for us to nibble on. Toasted struan bread from the farmer’s market with crumbled gorgonzola (we also made some with goat cheese), sliced figs, and a drizzle of honey. This was my favorite way to eat the figs. They were so fresh and the simple flavors went so well together. They looked and tasted fancy – but really, they were just fresh.
So first of all, go eat some fresh figs. Better yet if you can pick them yourself. And second, collaborate a little in the kitchen. With good friends and new friends. Share the chopping, muddling, and recipe tweaking. And of course, the best part, share the food.
August is one of my favorite months to go home to New Jersey. Everything is SO green and the local produce is super ripe. Schools out and everything is so slow and relaxed. It was so wonderful to spend a few days at home last week. I couldn’t have picked a better time to be surrounded by family, warm memories, and some of my favorite foods.
I missed my little town’s annual peach festival by a few days, but I was able to still celebrate the sweet Jersey peaches that are grown nearby. My mom and I cooked a big family dinner and I knew that I wanted to contribue a peach dessert. This cake was perfect. Even better, we topped it off with homemade peach ice cream from Alstede Farms down the street.
Doesn’t matter if you’re in NJ, while you can still find ripe peaches, you should definitely make this cake for people you love.
Jersey Peach Cake
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup golden brown sugar
- 4 ripe peaches, cut into 8 wedges each (I leave the skin on)
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light cream
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- For the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir constantly for 2 minutes, until sugar is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into a 9″ round cake pan and evenly spread over bottom of pan. Place peaches in a circular pattern over the bottom of cake pan. Set aside.
- Stir together flour and baking powder in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and cream, and beat well until combined. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Spoon the batter evenly over peaches.
- Place cake pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 55 minutes, until top is set and springy and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out upside down onto a plate. Allow to cool before serving. Serve with peach or vanilla ice cream.
I have a few other favorite peach desserts so if you’re still craving more, check out these other recipes:
peaches and cream cupcakes
vanilla peach popsicles
I’m writing this while I’m home in New Jersey. I’m only here for a couple of days, but one of the things I’m most excited about is the fresh summer produce. My town has a few farm stands where the peaches, corn, and tomatoes are so ripe this time of year. I’m planning a family dinner menu for tomorrow night and all I can think about are simple stacks and stacks of ripe tomatoes. I’m drooling over the ones above, but I’ll probably end up with something similar like to what I made below – heirlooms and creamy mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, balsamic crema, and herbed salt.
I think in the summer, this is all you need for a meal! (And look! None of these are pasta dishes!)
It’s officially summer in DC and it’s hot! It’s also muggy, sticky, and humid, but honestly I’m loving the heat. On my day off, I’m trying to find time to just sit outside and soak it up a bit. I’m inside so much now that it feels good to feel the sun. Even if I’m just sitting and doing nothing but sipping on my iced coffee. Plus I need the vitamin D.
The heat also has me craving my favorite summer frozen treats from when I was a kid. It reminds me of sitting on the beach in Nantucket in cut off jean shorts and a bathing suit top, licking up the ice cream or popsicle before it melts completely over my sticky fingers. I loved creamy push-up pops, Italian ice, and soft serve covered in rainbow sprinkles. But really my favorite frozen dessert was absolutely an ice cream sandwich.
The Chipwich defined some of my favorite summer memories. In fact, for many years, I thought they were sold exclusively at Jetties beach on Nantucket, because that’s where I exclusively had them for years. Chipwich, Jetties, hot sand, kites in the air, sandbar, boardwalk, ferries in the distance. The perfect Nantucket summer memory. When I found out I could get a Chipwich anywhere, I felt both excited and betrayed. The idea that I could eat one without all those great things surrounding me was so unnerving.
But I’m not going to Nantucket this summer (big bummer, I know), so I’ll do anything I can to recreate those memories. So here is my attempt, with these chocolate chip coconut ice cream sandwiches. Here’s how it goes… bake your favorite batch of chocolate chip cookies and sandwich your favorite ice cream between two cookies. For this batch, I used a great roasted coconut ice cream, which was creamy, sweet, and added just a hint of another rich flavor. Go outside, even if you have to sit on your city stoop, and enjoy both the sun and your ice cream sandwich all over you.