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This poundcake is peachy, three times over

Peach halves
Fresh peaches lend their color and flavor to poundcake. It's so hard not to eat these beauties before they go into the batter. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Recipe: Turn on the oven for this -- it's worth it

Slice of peach poundcake
This might be the moistest poundcake ever.
I love yellow peaches, especially ones so perfectly ripe and juicy that you have to eat them standing over the sink.

But I'm not averse to baking with them as well, and I'm always on the hunt for a new recipe.

The poundcake recipe here is quite new, a big hit on the New York Times Cooking website apparently. Since it uses peaches three ways -- triple delicious! -- I had to give it a try.

The preparation of the peaches is the only complicated part, and it's all up front. Once they're ready, the ingredients are stirred together and popped into the oven. The cake bakes at just 325 degrees, but during this heat wave it might be better to make it in the later evening or early morning anyway.

This recipe also appears adaptable to other stone fruits, include nectarines, apricots, sweet cherries and mangos.

Choosing the reddest peaches or nectarines will give you a gorgeous color cake and glaze. White peaches or nectarines are almost too sweet for this, I think. I've cut back the original recipe's amount of sugar, but there is still quite a bit of butter and eggs in there, creating a big, rich cake. However, a treat's a treat, especially in peach season.

Triple Peach Poundcake
Adapted from Jerrelle Guy's recipe in the New York Times
Serves 8-10


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and then cooled to room temperature, plus butter for the pan
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
3 or 4 ripe yellow peaches, washed and defuzzed, if necessary, but unpeeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more as needed
1 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bourbon, 1/2 teaspoon rum extract or 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, optional

Cake batter in pan
This is a lot of batter, but it'll stay in a 9-by-5-inch pan. For
smaller pans, use two of them or bake the extra batter
in a muffin tin.

Optional garnishes:
Remaining peach glaze (see recipe)
Peach slices
Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Instructions :

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. (An angel-food cake pan or two smaller loaf pans also can be used -- this makes a lot of batter.)

Pit and dice the one firmest peach into pieces about 1/3 inch in size. (Doesn't have to be exact.) Pat the pieces dry and set aside.

Pit and cut up the 2 or 3 remaining peaches (including skin) and place them in a food processor or blender along with the lemon juice. Puree. Pour out 1 cup of the mixture and put it in a mixing bowl along with the melted butter, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir these together and set aside.

To the remaining puree in the food processor or blender, add the 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and, if using, the bourbon, the rum extract or orange juice. (The flavoring helps mask the powdery-ness of the confectioners' sugar, but it's optional.) Blend it on high until the sugar is dissolved. Check the thickness: The glaze needs to be thick enough to stick to the cake but thin enough to drizzle. Add more confectioners' sugar as needed, and blend again. Cover and set aside until the cake is ready to be glazed.

Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the peach/egg mixture into the dry ingredients and blend well. Fold in the diced peaches.

cake with glaze
Wax paper under the rack will catch the glaze drips.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared loaf pan. Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 70-80 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to a wire rack.

To glaze the cake, slide a large piece of wax paper underneath the wire rack. Stir the glaze, and drizzle it over the entire top, letting some drip down the sides. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve with a pool of extra glaze, fresh sliced peaches or lightly sweetened whipped cream, or just by itself.


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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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