Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pans
½ cup walnuts, chopped to a medium size
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 medium-sized ripe peaches
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch round springform pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon, stir to mix. Set aside.
- Peel, pit, and slice the peaches about ½ inches thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 6 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Arrange the peach slices in circles from the outside toward the center; gently press the peach slices into the batter. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the peaches.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet to catch any leakage from the springform pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Slide a small kitchen knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it and remove the sides of the springform pan. Place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.
Walter, Carole, Great Cakes, Random House, New York, 1991
The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, Oxmoor House, New York, 2009