Summer Slices

This is a nice summery dessert which I created using a batter recipe for a marble cake, minus the cocoa and instead of in a bunt cake form I baked it in large baking pan with addition of some fresh fruit on the top. I call it Summer Slices for every piece has a nice amount of summer fruit and berries and it looks so colorful. This cake is perfect for a family gathering or a party, it’s simple to make and super delicious!

????????

 

Summer Slices

[Printable Recipe]

Ingredients

  • 300 g butter (10.5 oz or 65 sticks)- softened
  • 275 g (9.7 oz or 2 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 375 g (13.2 oz or about 3 cups)all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Various fruit (peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Slivered almonds (toasted)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking pan 32 x 44 x 2.5 cm (12 X 17 X 1 inch)
  • Parchment paper (size of the pan)

Preparation

  1. Beat softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until nice and foamy 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one by one mixing ½ minute after each addition.
  3. Mix in lemon zest.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and stir well, then start adding to the butter mixture mixing at a medium speed.
  5. At the end add milk and stir until all well combined.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly on the pan.
  7. Lightly toast slivered almonds and set aside.
  8. If you use peaches you will need about 4 large. Boil some water and immerse peaches into boiling water for about a minute. Peel them and slice into thin slices (about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch).
  9. Spread them on the batter, sprinkle with berries and toasted almonds
  10. Bake at 195 C or 385 F until lightly brown on the top.
  11. Let it cool down and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve.
 ♦

Summer SlicesSummer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Advertisements

Peach Tarteletts with Hazelnut Streusel Topping

Last Saturday I visited our local farmers market in search of some good peaches to make jam. Oh, what a great place to be at this time of the year! There was a great variety of veggies and fruit, herbs and flowers on display! I picked up a large container of Michigan peaches for my jam, but they were so juicy and sweet that we couldn’t stop eating them and from what was left I made these lovely tarteletts. I am making jam next week (said with determination)! 🙂 This recipe is a combination of three different recipes with addition/subtraction of some ingredients, which resulted in this recipe. Isn’t that what baking is all about?!

The tarteletts turned out to be delicious and not too sweet, which I really favor. You could taste the natural sweetness of the peaches, creamy filling and hazelnuts. Next time I would try to use almonds instead of hazelnuts. I would also sprinkle some sliced almonds on the top for decoration.

Peach Tarteletts

Peach Tarteletts with Hazelnut Streusel Topping

{Printable Recipe}

Yields 16 tarteletts

Sweet Pastry:

***All ingredients need to be refrigerated before using for the pastry. This is a ½ of quantity of the recipe for the sweet pastry from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook. Original recipe doesn’t call for hazelnuts/almonds.

  • 332 g (11.7 oz) flour
  • 5 g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 130 g (4.5 oz) powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3 TBSP hazelnuts or almonds
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) butter (thinly sliced)
  • 40 g (2-3) eggs

Also needed: Tartelett tins – 10 cm (about 4 inches) in diameter

Combine flour, salt, powdered sugar and hazelnuts and mix thoroughly. Add butter and start mixing slowly to incorporate all into flour. Add one by one egg and form the dough into a ball. Divide the ball into two equally weighing discs. Wrap each disc with plastic and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Sweet pastry dough

Hazelnut Streusel

Streusel is basically a crumbled mixture of butter, sugar and flour and it’s used for sprinkling over pies or cakes to add an extra crunch.

  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 TBSP chopped hazelnuts (or almonds)
  • 2 TBSP cold butter (cut into pieces)

Combine and mix all ingredients until they resemble ¼ inch (1/2 cm) crumbs. Set aside.

Hazelnut streusel

Tarteletts filling

  • 8 medium to large size ripe peaches
  • 350 ml (about 1.5 cup) heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Cut a small cross on the top and the bottom of each peach. Place the peaches shortly into boiling water, remove and let cool. Peel, half and pit the peaches. Cover with plastic until ready to used them.

Combine milk with sugar and both extracts, stir by hand for a couple of minutes. Add eggs and stir for another two to three minutes, until you get a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Peeling peaches

Prepare Tarteletts

Remove the sweet pastry dough from the fridge about 15 minutes before you start making tarteletts. I lightly grease the tins with butter.

Roll the dough out to about 1/2 cm (or just under 1/4 inch) thickness. Use a tartelett tin as a cookie cutter and place the cut out dough into the tin. Lightly press in and make sure to have a nice and clean edge.

Cut each peach half into thin slices and arrange them on the top of the tartelett. Pour the filling over the peaches. Do not overfill. Sprinkle with hazelnut streusel. You can also choose to sprinkle streusel in the middle of baking time. (I figured it doesn’t make much difference for the final product).

Making peach tarteletts

Making peach tarteletts

Place the tins onto a baking sheet. Bake at 215 C (about 425 F) for 20-25 minutes, or until edges of tarteletts start getting golden-brown. Cool completely, remove from the tins and serve. You may choose to sprinkle them with powdered sugar. You can also serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bon Appétit!

Peach Tarteletts

Peach Tarteletts

Peach Upside-Down Cake

After making peach jam last weekend, I had some peaches left and decided to make this delicious peach upside-down cake. I usually make this cake with plums, but thought peaches would work just as good. This cake is really easy to make, it’s moist and not too sweet, just yummy! 🙂 Enjoy!!!

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 peaches (peeled and pitted)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) butter (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup (125 g) sugar
  • 1 small lemon (zest and juice)
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup (175 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Also needed:

  • a small cooking pot
  • 9 inch (23 cm) round springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • aluminum foil

1. Wash the peaches and cut a small cross on the top and the bottom of each. In a small cooking pot boil some water, place peaches inside for 30 seconds, take them out and let them cool down. Peel them, remove pits and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside.

2. Mix butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, zest and juice of one lemon. Add an egg one by one, mixing well after each. Fold in sour cream and at the end fold in gently (by hand) flour combined with baking powder.

3. Line the 9 in springform cake pan with a 9 in diameter parchment paper. Combine 2 and 2 tbsp white and brown sugar. Arrange sliced peaches in alternating rows (see below), sprinkle with sugar mixture. Pour the batter over the peaches.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 385 F (about 195 C). Take a 20 in piece of aluminum foil and fold its ends as to make a square pan. Place the cake on the middle oven rack and the aluminum foil pan just on the rack underneath (to catch the peach juices and keep the oven clean).

5. Bake about 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Note: Springform cake pan vs. regular cake pan. For this kind of cake I prefer a springform pan. Why? Well, let’s just say I learned from my own mistakes! 😀 In a regular cake pan juices from the peaches/plums can’t ecscape and cake turns out soggy. In the springform juices can drip out (reason for using aluminum foil catcher) and the cake turns out perfect.

Peeled, pitted and ready to go!

Now sprinkled with sugar!

Pour the batter on the peaches.

Enjoy! 🙂

Old fashioned Peach Jam

I love going to the Farmer’s Market this time of the year. I love the colors, variety of goods and just the whole atmosphere and busyness of the place. This time I bought some baby potatoes, blueberries, kale and and a huge basket of peaches. I decided to use some peaches to make jam, the way my Grandma used to make it. The rest we will eat and I might just make a peach tart or a cake.

So, here’s the recipe for Peach Jam:

Peaches for jam should be ripe and somewhat soft, but not too soft. This is an old fashioned way of preparing jam and doesn’t require pectin.

Ingredients:

  • 8.8 lbs (4 kg) peaches (peeled and pitted)
  • 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) sugar
  • 2 lemons (juice)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla (optional)
Also needed:
  • small jars (about 12)
  • a large roasting dish with lid (something like this)
  • a stock pot
  • a colander
  • canning utensils
1. Fill a stock pot with water and let it boil. Cut a small cross on the top and bottom of each peach and immerse them into boiling water for about 30-45 seconds. Take them out and place  in colander. This hot water ‘bath’ will really help with peeling!
2. Peel each peach and cut into quarters and place them into the roasting dish. Mash peaches with a potatoe masher (I always leave some bigger pieces in too), add sugar, vanilla and mix well.
3. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C) and place the roaster with the lid onto the 2nd lowest rack in the oven.
4. After 30 minutes steer well and uncover. Leave it uncovered and  steer a little every 30 minutes.
5. Cook for another 1.5 to 2 hours. When you notice that jam is getting thicker, add juice of two lemons. Mix well and cook for another 15 minutes.
6. Now use your usual canning procedure.
Note: I don’t have a canner, so I improvise with what I have in my kitchen and my jam always turns out perfect.  So if you’re just a beginner and don’t can a lot or don’t want to spend a lot of money on canning supplies, here you can find some helpful tips.
ENJOY!
See how it turned out for me:
And stored in jars: