My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

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Peace of Cake 3

Posted on September 13, 2010 by crankycheryl

Because it’s Rosh Hashanah and who couldn’t use a sweet NewYear?

And because it’s Eid and too many people in Burlington are outraged that the schools were closed for one of Islam’s most important family celebrations.

Because the peaches on the tree 10 feet from my deck are ripe and outrageous and demand to be eaten.

Because it’s the start of northern Vermont’s Eat Local Week, and this cake is pure Vermont.

Because my great-aunt Trilby died, at 89, in her sleep.  She was beautiful like it hurt your stomach to look at pictures of her on the boardwalk at Atlantic City in the 40’s, right after she married my great-uncle Harry.  She was the one who at last shamed me into learning to drive in my mid-20’s with the exhortation, “GAWD FORBID SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR MOTHAH AND YOU SHOULD HAVE TO DRIVE HER TO THE HOSPITAL,” during a visit to her home in Fort Lauderdale.  She’s the last of my grandmother’s generation, and my family’s place in the world  is smaller without her.

Here’s my honey cake, in celebration and remembrance.  And in hopes that we may all be granted peace, and mercy, and more time with those we love in the coming year.    It’s a mashup of Vermont localvorism, of the honey cake tradition, and it’s flavored with mahlab, an Arabic spice made from the ground pits of sour cherries.  The cake keeps getting better every day, so it’s a nice one to have around to nibble on.  And hopefully a nice sign of the days ahead.  L’shanah tovah.

Honey Peach Cake
Adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America
Yield: One bundt cake plus 8 muffins

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Prepare pans by greasing and flouring one bundt pan and either one loaf pan or approx. 8 muffins.

3.  Sift together into a medium bowl:

  • 2 1/2 c. sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 t. freshly crushed mahlab

4.  Separate:

  • 3 large eggs

5.  Beat together in a large bowl until very well combined:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • egg yolks
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • grated rind from one (0rganic) lemon
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. warm black coffee

6.  Chop into 1″ pieces:

  • 2 ripe, sweet peaches

7.  Beat until fluffy and nearly stiff:

  • reserved egg whites.

8.  Combine parts:

  • Add flour mix in three parts, beating just until thoroughly combined with as few strokes as possible.  Fold in egg whites, then stir in peaches.

9.  Bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 1 hour for the cake, and 30 minutes for muffins.  Let cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes, then cool completely on a rack.

Will last 4 or 5 days if it can, but it’s awfully nice for sharing.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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