When I was doing my big jar reorg a few weeks ago, I discovered a small cache of gingery canned peaches from the summer of 2012. The seals were good and the color was unchanged, so I knew they would be fine to eat, but figured it would be a good idea to start using them up before peach season rolls around again.
There’s an Ina Garten recipe I’ve made a couple times during the height of summer that involves layering fresh peaches into cake batter and dusting them with cinnamon and sugar. I decided to take a stab at making it with my canned peaches.
Of course, because I cannot resist these things, I also omitted some of the sugar and swapped in whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose in an attempt to make it slightly more virtuous. The end result was a very delicious cake, though if you skip down to the last picture, you’ll see that my perfectly arranged peaches sunk right down to the bottom of the pan.
I think this happened for three reasons. The first is that I used buttermilk in place of the sour cream that the original recipes requests. Sour cream is slightly thicker and so leads to a denser batter (but I had exactly a cup of buttermilk and I so desperately wanted to get that jug out of the fridge).
The second reason is that I omitted the cinnamon and sugar sprinkle between layers in my attempts at virtuosity. Finally, those canned peaches have had the last three years to absorb additional liquid, making them heavier than their fresh counterparts.
Still, it was entirely edible and the guys Scott had over for a D&D game did not complain about the sunken peaches (and I did not apologize). However, next time I make it, I think I’m just going to arrange all the peaches at the bottom of the pan, pour the batter on top and call it an upside down cake.
If you want to make it as Ina intended, her recipe is here. The recipe with my alterations can be found below.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pint canned peaches
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a square cake pan.
- Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer (or get your hand mixer out). Beat together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and mix until well-incorporated.
- In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet and mix. Repeat until all dry ingredients are mixed into the batter.
- Pour half the batter into the pan and arrange half the peaches on top. Repeat. (Note, if you are worried about your peaches sinking, just spread them out on the bottom of the pan and top with the batter.)
- Put cake in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. If the top of the cake is browning faster that wanted, slip a sheet of foil over the top of the pan to prevent it from burning.