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This poundcake is peachy, three times over

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

Peach halves
Fresh peaches lend their color and flavor to poundcake.  (Photos: Kathy Morrison)
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 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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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