Dog days, redux, or, The lost is found, or at least recreated
July 19, 2015
Wherein we attempt to recreate the post that was up, briefly, yesterday, until it wasn’t. And for the life of me, I cannot determine where it has gone.
I know it was there, because the automatic FB and Twitter post/tweet that goes out when it publishes showed up on my timeline. And thus I have, at least, the start of the post:
It’s hotter than the hinges of hell, I’ve been gone a lot, and when I’ve been here, I haven’t been cooking.
Well, I did cook, some, when I was co-babysitting Amazing Grandchildren 1 and 3 last week in Nashville. Like the peach ricotta pound cake, above, recipe here, which was something of an adventure, as it entailed cooking in Child B’s kitchen, which is somewhat less than well-equipped.
And I got nothin’ else. So, perhaps, we can recreate it. Or not. Or at least get close to the sense of it.
Anyway. This cake. I decided I wanted to make this cake because it’s good, it’s easy, it lends itself to the addition of fresh fruit, and I had peaches that needed to be used, in the worst way. The peaches were among a boat-load of produce I took with me to Child B’s, because I’d gone on autopilot at the Farmers’ Market and forgotten I was going to be gone most of the week.
I had the ingredients I needed to make the cake,recipe here, having had it on my mind when I went to the grocery store, having picked up ricotta for that express purpose. However, having the ingredients one needs is far from having all one needs to bake a cake in Child B’s kitchen. The child does not own a mixer. Not even a little wimpy hand-held $29.95 model from WalMart.
Now, I realize she doesn’t bake, because she’s gluten-intolerant, and I understand that. But, humor me here. Everybody needs a mixer. That may be a Christmas gift.
I discovered, however, that one can cream butter and sugar quite adequately in a food processor, as well as beat the eggs in and add the vanilla. Then I transferred it to a mixing bowl and stirred in the ricott, the flour and the lemon zest.
Then it was time to bake it, and I did not even waste my time wondering if she had a springform pan. I knew this was out of the question. So, I’d bought a little Teflon-coated deep-dish baking pan when I was out and about earlier.
You will recall I said the cake lends itself well to the addition of fresh fruit. I like to put the fruit on the bottom of the pan like an upside-down cake; I’ve done a version with fresh figs that is To Die For. And I figured peaches would work well. I started to get the brown sugar and oatmeal to make a little crisp to toss them with, and spied granola; decided to go that route. I put granola in the bottom of the baking dish, put a layer of sliced peaches over it, and then spooned in the batter, which is a thick, pound-cake-ish batter.
And here’s where we depart from the recipe, which says bake it at 400. That may work in a wider, flatter springform pan, but in the baker, which has inclined sides and is deeper, the center got nowhere near done. I’d recommend baking at 350, for about 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I love this cake. It’s light, but not a fluffy, cake-y cake. It’s not overly sweet. It’s wonderfully moist, and the lemon zest gives it a bit of zing. And it loves fruit, of which we have so much right now. I want to make it with fresh cherries while they’re plentiful. It’s great with pears, and with peaches. I think berries might have a touch too much moisture in them.
And that may not be everything I wrote in the missing post, but it’s all I can remember. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em make the cake, and tell me what you think.