Peach Blueberry Cake

The return of summer stone fruit — local tree-ripened fruit that is.  Short of picking your own, you’re not going to experience what real fruit tastes like until the local stuff arrives.

This one comes from the now defunct pages of Gourmet Magazine, circa 2005. I make it every year when the real goods are available.  It looks good, tastes good and is easy to make, especially for those who have difficulty with pie crusts.  You can find the original recipe here.  Here’s my take and my comments on the comments. (See Notes to the Chef below.) — Jason Adams

{Recipe after the jump.}

This is what your cake crust should look like when you're done pulsing.

Peach Blueberry Cake

Serves about 12

Ingredients for Pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) ice cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca powder (see Notes to the Chef)
  • 2 lb firm-ripe large peaches, halved lengthwise, pitted, halved and then cut lengthwise into fourths
  • 1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Special equipment: 9- to 91/2-inch (24-cm) springform pan, food processor

This is what your crust should look like once pressed into the springform pan.

Make the Pastry:

Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.

Use your fingers to press dough onto the bottom of the springform pan and evenly (about 1/4 inch thick) up sides with your fingers.

Chill pastry in pan until firm while you prepare the filling.

This is what the cake looks like raw, before it goes into the oven.

Make the Filling:

Put the oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine sugar with flour and tapioca in a small bowl, mix together with a fork until combined.  Place peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice in a large bowl, sprinkle on the sugar, flower, tapioca mix and gently toss to coat.

Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with a sheet of foil, until filling is bubbling in the center and crust is golden, about 1 3/4 hours.

Transfer cake in pan to a rack and cool, uncovered, 20 minutes, then carefully remove side of pan.

Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature — or refrigerate until cold — then cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife before serving.

Notes to the Chef:

This crust is super easy and fool-proof, no chilling or rolling out, you just push it around with your fingers.  It is very cake like, almost cookie like, when baked.

The original recipe calls for grinding up tapioca beads in a spice/coffee grinder.  You can go that route, but I found tapioca powder in Fairway that works just as well without all the bother.  You could probably substitute corn starch too.

I cooked mine in a dark-color springform pan. If you do the same, the crust will darken significantly – some may say burn.  In my mind and to my taste, the dark, crunchy, caramelized crust adds complexity to what can be a just sweet simple dessert.  If you like your crust on the lighter side, either use a light-colored pan or just turn the oven down to 325.

I made this on Saturday, covered it and left it in the refrigerator and served it on Sunday.  The well cooked crust holds up well and serving it cool was the perfect accompaniment to a hot al fresco dinner this past Sunday.

Wine Pairing:

A well-chilled, lightly sweet rose pairs fantastically with this (and just about any other) dessert. The “KO” Rose, Thierry Puzelat 2010 filled the bill nicely.

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