Washington peaches are in season and this sticky caramel peach cake is a great way to show them off. I added some cardamom to accentuate the flavor of those sweet juicy peaches. Cardamom and peach taste so wonderful together. It’s kind of like basil and tomato, strawberries and pepper – some flavor combinations just work so well. This is a simple and hearty cake to make and is best served warm with some fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream. The cake is cooked in a skillet pan, so the bottom layer of fruit develops a lovely caramelized flavor, and the peaches become intensely sweet and juicy. The cake is buttery and nutty with a hint of cardamom spice. It’s such a flavorsome cake and a little more special than the average peach pie. This recipe is adapted from a Tuscan Plum Cake recipe in the Ballymaloe Cookbook.
- 140g /3/4 cup of sugar
- 75ml of water / 5 tablespoons of water
- 3 large peaches
- 75g of butter / 5 tablespoons of butter
- 85g of sugar / 5 and ½ tablespoons of sugar
- 75g / 5 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 30g / 2 tablespoons of ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds (about 5 pods worth)
You will also need (8 inch / 21cm) skillet pan that is oven proof
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350 F. Place the sugar and water in the skillet pan over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve, then turn the heat up and cook the sugar syrup until it turns a rich golden caramel color. Resist the urge to stir the sugar syrup, you can swirl it gently in the pan to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Half and stone the peaches. Once the caramel is a rich golden brown, take the pan off the heat, and arrange the peach halves on top of the caramel with cut side facing the bottom of the pan. Leave aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the butter and sugar in a food processor and beat for a few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat to combine, then add the eggs, vanilla extract and crushed cardamom seeds. Beat for a few seconds until all the ingredients are fully combined. Pour this cake mixture over the peaches and place the skillet in the oven. I like to place a baking tray with foil on the shelf underneath, as sometimes the fruit is very juicy and syrup can spill onto the oven floor. This tray prevents you having to clean up a messy oven. Cook the pie for 50-60 minutes. It will be golden brown on top once cooked. To test if it is cooked, insert a sharp knife in the centre of the cake, and if it is clean when removed the cake is cooked. Allow the cake to rest in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate, and rearrange any fruit bits stuck on the pan. Serve with ice-cream or fresh whipped cream.