Cathy Barrow, Special to The Washington Post A few years ago, I became e-gifted a recipe for a simple fruit-crowned cake called Cup o’ Cup o’. The e-mail ended with, “I guess my mother made one thousand of those when we had been kids. “The instantly-up recipe begins with melting a stick of butter inside the oven in the cake pan (simpler to oil the pan), then pouring the liquid butter right into a bowl with a cup of flour, a cup of milk, and a cup of sugar, plus a tremendous amount of baking powder.
Once these ingredients are stirred collectively and scraped into the pan, a riot of summer season fruit is dumped on pinnacle and the cake bakes into both a pudding-like shape, warm and gooey, or a more impregnable cake with nicely-browned edges, absolutely depending on the amount of time it spends in the oven. I made the cake in some instances and liked it well sufficient. It was near, however no longer the treat I idea it could be. I was much less fond of the pudding form and extra entranced with those crispy edges. I got to work and made this cake my own, one intended for the potluck table.
In the beyond a month, I doled out this cake to friends, own family members, workers, and shortly-to-be-neighbors, making a dozen versions till it reached, in my thoughts, its full potential. From the outset, I knew I wanted this to be a buttermilk cake. Buttermilk from my nearby dairy is thick and creamy and glugs out of the bottle. For this cake, the buttermilk from the grocery saves works as properly. However, the more comprehensive version makes a cake with a slightly extra wet and tender crumb. Changing from whole milk to buttermilk in the original cake intended adjusting the leavening from baking powder to baking soda (in contrast to milk, buttermilk does now not want the cream of tartar, a cutting element in baking powder, to prompt the leavening), and I fiddled with the quantity of, nicely, the whole thing else.
\I added eggs. I upped the flour. I modified the ratio of fruit to the batter. And I changed the pan length. The result is a cake this is somewhat muffin-like, a bit like an espresso cake, and paying homage to pound cake. I used whatever fruit changed into reachable to pinnacle the cake. I mixed berries. I used white and yellow peaches. I stirred candy and bitter cherries collectively. Any fruit fits the invoice and smells the cake while it bakes. This is a cake that any baker will want to make their very own. I know that I gave the recipe to two pals, and they each modified it up. I used vanilla to also fragrance the cake. However, my pal Gail used almond extract.
When I brought cinnamon, I notion it crushed the flavor of the fruit and the tang of the buttermilk. However, Abbie got nutmeg and became satisfied. I suppose cardamom is probably delicious, too. Here is your new cross-to-summer season cake. Make it once, and I suspect you may make it time and again, as I have. Slice the cake into big square slabs; no person will bitch if their piece has a scoop of ice cream snuggling up next to it. Around right here, we have been calling it breakfast cake with definitely no guilt.
And if there’s buttermilk leftover, it makes delicious biscuits, is an excellent brine for chicken, and is a good sipping drink on a hot day, or so stated my grandfather. Buttermilk Sheet Cake With Peaches and Blueberries 15 to twenty servings If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer, and a massive bowl will work just as properly. MAKE AHEAD: Cover the cake tightly and store it at the counter for about three days.
Sixteen tablespoons (226 grams; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus greater for the pan three cups (360 grams) flour ½ teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda ½ teaspoon (three grams) kosher salt or first-rate sea salt 2 cups (four hundred grams) sugar three massive eggs, at room temperature ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup nicely shaken buttermilk, preferably full-fat three peeled, pitted peaches, sliced ½-inch thick (about 2 cups; see word) 1 cup (a hundred and fifty grams) blueberries Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Line a 9-by-thirteen-inch baking pan with parchment paper, so the two shorter aspects overhang a piece (for lifting the cake out of the pan.) Grease the paper with a touch of butter. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium blending bowl collectively.
Combine the sixteen tablespoons of butter and the sugar within the stand mixer bowl; beat on medium speed, 3 to four mins, till light and fluffy. Add the eggs separately, blending well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl once in a while. Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk and stir to combine. At a low pace, alternately add the flour combination and the buttermilk mixture in two or three additions, finishing with the flour, mixing until just barely integrated. Use a flexible spatula to softly fold the batter a piece extra by hand, ensuring to scrape the lowest of the bowl to paintings in any residual dry components. Rub it into the organized pan once the batter seems combined and does not use a white streak—Smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Arrange peach slices on the top and scatter the blueberries lightly over the peaches. Bake (center rack) for approximately 1 hour (start checking after 50 to fifty-five minutes) until the cake is golden brown on the edges and starts to turn away from the sides. The batter will puff up over the fruit; once the cake cools, it’ll deflate a bit. Transfer to a cord rack to chill absolutely (in the pan). Lift the cake using the parchment paper ends, discard it, and reduce it to 15 to 20 squares. NOTE: To peel peaches, plunge them into boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of ice water.
As quickly as they may be relaxed sufficient to address, slip off the skins. The riper the peach, the much less time it desires within the boiling water. Nutrition per serving (based on 20): 250 calories, 3 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 10 g fats, 7 g saturated fats, 60 mg cholesterol, a hundred twenty-five mg sodium, 0 g nutritional fiber, 23 g sugar Cathy Barrow is a writer, recipe developer and creator of the award-prevailing “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry,” “Pie Squared” and “When Pies Fly” (September 2019).