Southern Peach Cake

Peach Cake:

6 Ripe Peaches

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

2 Cups White Whole Wheat or All Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Toasted and Chopped Pecans

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 Tablespoons Bourbon or Rum*

1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Pecan Topping:

1 Cup Raw Pecan Halves

1 Tablespoon Turbinado Sugar

*Poorly stocked liquor cabinet or simply seeking a non-alcoholic option? Substitute 2 tablespoons of water and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract instead.

Pit and puree the peaches along with the lemon juice, and transfer the smooth mixture to a medium saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by half. You should end up with approximately 1 1/3 cups of concentrated peach puree when all is said and done. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add in the chopped pecans, and toss lightly to coat. This will help prevent the nuts from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking.

Separately, whisk together the reduced and cooled peach puree, both sugars, oil, bourbon, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour these liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry, and mix gently with a wide spatula, just until the batter comes together smoothly. Don't over-mix; a few small lumps are fine to leave in the mixture.

Spread the batter in your prepared pan, smoothing it evenly across the whole area, and sprinkle the raw pecans all over the top. Finally, sprinkle the turbindo sugar on as well, taking care to fill any of the uncovered crevasses between the nuts especially.

Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until the nuts on top are nicely toasted, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake pulls out cleanly. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Makes 10 - 12 Servings

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com