Yeah for Peaches!
The long weekends for many are spent with family and friends at a cottage or camping or perhaps at home relaxing on the back deck. No matter how you spend it, the last one of summer is upon us. With the last few school free days it reminds me how important it is to enjoy it and spend it with those you love.
We have been so fortunate this summer to enjoy a bounty of delicious and beautiful Ontario produce that I could not let August slip away without talking about one of my favourites-peaches! Biting into a juicy peach as its juices drip down your arm is what comes to mind when I think of those long weekend get togethers. As a kid, I would love to pick up a warm fuzzy peach from the table and run away with it as I bit into it. Having that perfect ripe fruit pull away from the pit was truly a wonderful experience.
In my house we have peach lovers versus the nectarine lovers. Some like the fuzz and some do not. I admit I think there was a time when I did not enjoy the fuzzy peach, but once I tasted that sweet flesh of the Ontario peach I could get beyond the fuzz. With different varieties available you can pick how fuzzy you want your peach as well as what colour you may enjoy! Have you tried the white peaches? They are pretty tasty too.
I think the classic freestone peach is the one for me, but clingstone has such a great texture and taste as well. Give them all to me and I can count on a tasty way to end a meal. You can simply enjoy them on their own or tossed in a fruit salad. Combined with blueberries in a pie or cobbler would warm up any cool summer’s night. Its those hot days and nights that might turn you off of baking or you may think because you are camping you might not be able to enjoy a little sweet cake. Well this recipe will prove that wrong! You can bake it on the barbecue! Keep the heat outside and enjoy delicious delicate peach cakes right off the grill.
If you are going away to a cottage or camping simply measure out your dry ingredients and bring along your other ingredients and combine them while you are there. If chopping the peaches becomes too much of a chore, simply slice them thinly and place them on top before baking. You won’t need as many peaches but the taste will still be bountiful.
I like using the foil muffin tins that are somewhat disposable and light to carry if travelling. You may not want to use your best muffin tin on the grill to bake with or if you are going somewhere they may not have a tin available for you to use, so it’s always great to plan ahead and be ready.
So on this last long weekend of summer swing by the market and pick up a basket of juicy Ontario peaches and take some big bites on your way to the cottage or camp and save some to make these tasty little cakes that can be easily served up with your favourite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. My favourite is with a sprinkle of icing sugar and then picking it up with my hands to eat while dipping my feet in the lake, well in my case the backyard wading pool with thoughts of being at the lake. But still surrounded by family and friends held dear to my heart. Have a great long weekend! I hope you love cooking and cook for the ones you love.
Sweet Peach Cakes on the BBQ
These light fruity cakes are addictive! A perfect ending to a campfire meal or to enjoy as a snack or sneak in a leftover for breakfast the next day. Enjoy the summer flavour of peaches at their best and baking them on the barbecue is a breeze.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
½ cup (125 mL) butter, softened
¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
¾ cup (175 mL) all purpose flour
½ tsp (2 mL) each baking powder and cinnamon
3 firm ripe fresh peaches, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) demerara or turbinado sugar (optional)
In bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until combined. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until well combined. Spread into 12 greased foil muffin cups. Divide peaches on top and press slightly into batter. Sprinkle with sugar, if using.
Place pan on preheated grill over medium-low heat; close lid and cook for about 15 minutes or until top is golden and tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool slightly.
Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
Makes 12 cakes
Tip: Try to keep the barbecue’s temperature around 350 F (180 C) to cook cakes evenly.
3 peaches, peeled and finely chopped will give you about 2 ¼ cups (550 mL).
Oven Variation: Bake cakes in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 20 minutes.
When you are at home you can use an electric beater to bring the batter together more quickly and add some volume to the cakes.