I really, really like to bake in the early morning. I come downstairs before the birds; before any hint of sunlight begins its creeping over the horizon; before the late night roaming wildlife have settled into their daytime hiding places. If I am not found in the studio at 3 30am then I am in the kitchen, flipping the oven temp to 350 and turning on the mixer. I like to imagine my neighbors awakening to a faint hint of sugary, fruitfully filled goodness engaging their senses. Who needs an alarm clock?!
Today I needed to use up some peaches. I get a weekly delivery from Full Circle Farms. It arrives via a wonderful program called a CSA (community supported agriculture). If you have any inclination to keep your food local and organic, I encourage you to check them out! I have two CSA’s of which I am a huge fan: Full Circle Farms(fullcirclefarm.com), and Blue Bird Grain Farms(bluebirdgrainfarms.com). The premise is that these farms coordinate with buyers and communities to bring us the freshest, local organic products-think milkman-resulting in the farms gaining more exposure to the community and the community benefiting from the fresh product being delivered to their doorstep!
For me it’s a bit like my birthday every Wednesday-I get to open my big waxed corrugated box and luxuriate in the chard, beets, snap peas and yes, peaches! This afternoon will find me pillaging the monthly delivery from Blue Bird Grain Farms where I do believe I am going to find a lovely package of rye flour…mmmmm. Rye sourdough bread tomorrow! Perhaps a turkey Reuben is in my near future….in love. trish.
Peach, even though it really calls for pear, Upside Down Cake
(my alterations in parenthesis)
1 c blanched almonds (1 c toasted whole skin-on almonds)
2/3 c all purp flour (2/3 c BBGF white whole wheat cake flour)
2 t baking powder
6 T butter, room temp (6 T olive oil)
1 c sugar (2/3 c sucanat-I also added 1/2 t almond extract)
1/2 c fresh orange juice
2 anjou pears, cored and sliced 1/4″ (2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced 1/4″)
2 T butter, (1 T olive oil)
3 T brown sugar (2 T agave nectar)
If using pears, place 2 T butter and 3 T brown sugar in a skillet and allow to melt and caramelize( 2 min). Layer pears over this caramel and brown (4 min).
Both recipes begin here-While pears caramelize pulse almonds in a food processor until the consistency of bread crumbs. All flour and baking powder and pulse to blend. Set this mix aside in a small bowl. Again using the food processor, blend butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs until light and fluffy. In halves, add flour mixture and orange juice until dough is formed. Spiral pears or peaches in a buttered 9″ cake pan. If peaches, over them pour the oil/agave blend. Spread dough over fruit layer and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn out onto plate and allow to cool or serve warm with vanilla ice cream.