Sunday, August 15, 2010

An apple is an excellent thing...

...until you have tried a peach. George du Maurier.

Late summer in Oregon means one thing.
Furry, sweet-smelling, rosy peaches.
Which leads to the inevitable (in my house) peach shortcake.
And I'm not talking about your "strawberry shortcake" of the American ilk here, but a buttery, not too sweet  Australian concoction.

My first job after high school was in a book store. I was like a raccoon in a cherry tree. One of my first purchases was this lovely cookbook. I also bought lots of Dr. Seuss books, but that's another story. It is covered in the heavy duty plastic that covers many of my books from that era. Book store employee, don't you know?  In the last thirty five years, I have spent hours poring over the pictures and imagining the tastes of many of the dishes.
And cooking some of them.

One of my favourite recipes is this one.

As you can see, I wasn't content to stick to apples. 
I mean, apples are perfect for many things, but there is so much more to life than apples.
The strawberry-rhubarb incarnation has its appeal, to be sure.
But this time of year, nothing says "shortcake" like peaches, so here is my version.

I have given this recipe out several times over the years, but I'm reasonably sure that no one has ever actually made it. Which puzzles me beyond belief, because it's so easy.

Peach Shortcake
4 oz unsalted butter
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
2 c flour
1 tsp BP
1/2 tsp salt
3 ripe peaches
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, then dry ingredients. You can substitute 1/2 c wheat flour for white without compromising taste. Mix as well as you can with spoon, then use your hand to knead into a nice, smooth lump of dough. Don't over mix.
Cut the dough in half...
...and spread on the bottom of a greased, 9" round pan. I like heavy-duty aluminium pans, which give a light crust. 

Peel and chop the peaches and spread liberally on the crust. If the peaches look sparse, add another one. Can't have too many peaches in this baby!

Now for the genius part.
Rip off a square of waxed paper. Place it on your counter and pat the rest of the dough out on it in a 9" circle. Then just upend the dough on top of the peaches. It doesn't have to be perfect, because it will rise to fit the pan.
Brush the top of the cake with milk or cream, sprinkle with sugar (sometimes I use cinnamon sugar) and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. The sugar will be crispy and the cake will barely be turning golden when it is done.

Now, for the best part. 
Eat warm with vanilla ice cream, if you want to be a heathen.
Personally, I like it in a bowl with milk poured over it.
For breakfast.

PS: I always double this recipe, because it takes about the same amount of time and then you can share.
PPS: If anyone EVER makes one of the recipes I so lovingly post, I would LOVE to hear about it.


  1. I'm gonna make that sans gluten tomorrow.

  2. Well, I'll be making it. And I want to be a heathen.

  3. BTW I made something you posted back when I first began reading you earlier this summer. What was it? I can't remember. Lemon cake of some kind? I'll go back and look.

  4. It was this! Erica and I made this, and I'm pretty sure I came back and told you about it! If I didn't, slap me and call me Sally!

  5. peaches are one of God's most perfect foods! yummm...

  6. That peach/apple shortcake sounds yummy, will be trying it as soon as peaches come on!

  7. Mmm, sounds good! I'll try it as soon as I get my hands on some peaches, or maybe I should try blueberry shortcake . . .

  8. Yes, Jenny, you did tell me. Lucky for you I won't be calling you Sally.
    Kathy, I sometimes make peach/blueberry, it's a good mix.