This peach and cornmeal cake is adapted from Garrett McCord’s Vanilla Garlic recipe.
Garrett is a great writer, with not only hilarious stories, but some pretty awesome recipes…in my fantasy (which I am sure he would consider very weird, since we are complete strangers), Garrett is the smart and wickedly funny guy that I hang out with all weekend when he and I meet at a food blogger convention, and no, I’ve never been to a food blogger convention, and I have no plans to attend one. Anyway, back in real life, Garrett has separate posts for two versions of this cake, one with strawberries and one with rhubarb. I substituted cornmeal for the polenta, and I used way more fruit, because I like my cakes with fruit to be, well, very fruity. To me, this is sort of a fruit tart in the form of a cake.
Because this cake has extra fruit and moisture, I also upped the oven time to about an hour.
Be sure to drain the macerated fruit and save the drained sugary juices! I forgot to take a picture, but I keep the reserved juices in a little jar in the fridge, heat up what I want, and pour it over the serving of cake and ice cream…perrrrrrfect.
I also store this cake in the fridge. For breakfast this morning, I let it warm to room temperature, and then served it unadorned with my cup of coffee. I seriously think that I could eat this cake at every meal!
Here’s the recipe…enjoy!
- For the filling:
- 2.5 pounds of peaches, peeled and cut into 1-inch to 2-inch pieces (about 9 to10 peaches)
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For the cake dough:
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal, fine or coarse
- 1 and ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 10 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk (or use some of the peach juice if no milk on hand)
- white sugar for sprinkling
- Lightly butter an 8-inch spring-form pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a bowl, toss the peeled, cut-up peaches with the lemon juice and ⅔ cup brown sugar and let sit and macerate for about 30 minutes.
- Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup brown sugar in a food processor and blitz a few times. Add the butter and blitz a few more times until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the egg, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the milk into a bowl and blend into the mixture with the food processor. Take care not to overmix. The mixture should be sticky and soft. If it isn't, add another tablespoon of milk.
- Press two-thirds of the dough into the cake pan and push it ¼-inch up the sides. You can flour your fingers some to help keep the dough from sticking. Be sure there are no cracks or holes.
- Drain the peaches, using a colander, and reserve the excess juices.
- Place the drained peaches over the surface. Crumble the remaining dough over the top. Scatter a bit of white sugar over the top and bake for 55-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool a few minutes, and serve with the juices from the peaches and vanilla ice cream, if desired.