Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- July 2012

Cream Cheese Nectarine Cake with Buttery Streusel

(This recipe has been adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book, by Piper David and Ellen Jackson; Ten Speed Press, 2009. To compare, please see page 146, for “Cream Cheese Apple Cake.”)

Yield: About 16 slices

For the cake:

2 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour/meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese

2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

1 extra-large ripe nectarine, unpeeled, pitted, and chopped into very small pieces

For the streusel:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup almond meal/flour

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1 pinch fine-grain sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.

Make the streusel first:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, almond meal/flour, all purpose flour, and salt. Toss in the butter chunks. Combine the mixture using a pastry blender or a fork until most of it is in pieces approximately the size of a large pea. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge.

To make the cake batter:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour/meal, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the large bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and light in color (beat for at least five minutes and as long as eight). On low speed, add in all of the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each; stop and scrape the bowl as needed.

Still on low speed, add in all of the nectarine pieces, beating just for a few seconds to combine, then add in all of the dry ingredients. Mix only until the flour looks completely incorporated. Scrape all the batter into your greased and floured cake pan. Sprinkle all of the streusel evenly over the top.

Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for about 55-65 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top is lightly golden, the sides are just beginning to pull away from the pan, the top of the cake doesn't jiggle at all when you move it, and a toothpick inserted in the center come out mostly dry. Check your cake after about 40 minutes and if it appears to be browning too fast, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top. Let the finished cake cool in its pan on a rack for at least 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides, remove the springform carefully, and let the cake finish cooling on the rack.