We have built a small raised deck at the end of the garden where a wooden gazebo once stood. I wanted it to be a quiet little place where you could go and sit, away from the house. Somewhere to ponder. So we have planted bamboo around it and an almond blossom tree to give it a Japanese Zen vibe. I picked the almond tree as my Mum used to love almond blossom time. I planted it on Mother’s Day.
What I wasn’t expecting, somewhat foolishly you might think, is that the almond blossoms would turn into actual almonds.
Inspired by this revelation and the fact that we had some very ripe peaches I devised a plan for a peach and almond cake based on the Pear and Almond Cake that we love so much.
Not using our own almonds of course. As you can see they are still just downy nubbins, wearing jaunty blossom hats. But the promise of a potentially nutty Autumn is there.
I scored a cross on the top of each peach (pear plum)* and then dropped them in scalding water for a minute, then into cold water. The skins then slide off easily and you can halve them and remove the stones.
I had a very clear image in my mind of a simple cake with domes of blushing peaches nestling in the rich almondy mixture.
…and there it is. My vision realised.
This is the perfect cake to make for a Weekend at home. It starts off with a sugary crust but over time it develops into a soft dense cake that can quite happily sit around for days without going stale. Although unfortunately it is unlikely to hang around for very long as it is a very good elevenses cake with a cup of coffee, or ‘pudding cake’ with a spoonful of yoghurt or crème fraiche .
Try it. You might like it.
I think you probably will.
* a reference to ‘Each Peach Pear Plum‘ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. A lovely book that my mum always used to read to her school kids and so has permeated into my childhood memories too. We went on to read it to George when he was little. I was on the brink of making this into a peach, pear and plum cake, to match the book, and a very nice cake that would make too.
Here is the printable recipe: Peach and Almond Cake.