And just like that, it’s September.
Post Labor Day.
I am always so conflicted around this time of year. Part of me clings to summer with all its warm sunshine, pool days, and food on the grill. And the other part of me longs for fall to get here AS SOON AS FREAKING POSSIBLE. I’m leaning more toward the latter camp this year. I’ve reached my fill of insanely hot and humid days. I’m ready for the slight chill in the air, and the ability to sleep with the windows open. I’m ready for cozy sweaters and all the fall festivals. And apple everything! Chai lattes? Oh yes. Give it all to me.
One thing, however, that I am NOT ready to say goodbye to is the summer produce. OMG. On top of my usual corn and tomato obsession, the fruit this year has been so delectable! I don’t know if it’s because I’m pregnant, but I haven’t been able to get enough watermelon, peaches, or berries this year. I crave them all the time, which is often true in summer, but this year it has been something fierce.
I’m also thirsty ALL THE TIME while pregnant (this was true last time, too), so it could be the refreshing, quenching nature of the fruit that I’m obsessing over. But the taste sure doesn’t hurt anything!
To embrace summer one last time, I made you a peach and blueberry coffee cake. And let me tell ya, it’s something that I might make all year ’round, even if it does cost me an arm and a leg in December. It’s just that good.
Spiced and fluffy cake topped with a layer of the juiciest, sweetest peach slices and a generous smattering of blueberries = a very happy Molly. What makes Molly even happier? The buttery, streusely, brown sugary CRUMBLE on top! Because, let’s be honest, that’s the best part of any coffee cake/crumble/crisp situation. Right?
(I promise to never refer to myself in the third person ever again.)
This cake is perfectly sweet but not so much that it makes your teeth hurt. It’s light but satisfying. And it tastes of summer! It is ideal for breakfast, brunch, after lunch, an afternoon snack, or dessert. Top it with some ice cream in the evening if you are really feeling like you need a treat after a long day (speaking from experience here). You won’t be sorry.
I think this cake would work wonderfully with any combination of stone fruit and berries. Peaches, plums, pluots, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. They’d all work! Nectarine and blackberry might be next flavor combo.
The cake and streusel are flavorful but neutral enough to work with any fruit you like. And truthfully? What fruit wouldn’t taste amazing sandwiched between cake and streusel?! I’d be hard pressed to think of one. We could even take this idea into the impending fall with apples, pears, pumpkin, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Also, this cake is a great way to use up fruit that’s on its last leg. My blueberries here were juuuust about to go bad, and my peaches had a few too-soft spots. But their flavor was good! So I threw them into the mix, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.
Turns out? Somewhat overripe fruit is the way to go here. Because no amount of sugar or butter can fix a rock-hard peach or a bitter berry, ya know? The flavors just popped!
So maybe that’s how I’ll justify making this cake all the time. “I had to clean out the crisper drawer. Which obviously means CAKE. Duh.”
Yeah, that logic works for me!
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup whole milk
2 ripe peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
6 oz blueberries
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch spring form pan (alternatively, you can use an 8 x 8 baking dish).
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Add in the spices, baking powder, and salt and whisk until combined.
Add the eggs and mix until thoroughly combined.
Add half the flour and mix until just combined. Add in the milk and mix. Add the remaining flour and stir until the flour is just mixed in (avoid the temptation to overmix the batter!).
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Top the batter with a layer of the sliced peaches. Scatter the blueberries evenly over the peach layer.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Using your fingers, mix the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture is moist, crumbly, and sticks together when pinched between two fingers.
Sprinkle the crumble over the blueberries evenly. Place the pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes before unmolding from the spring form pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar, and topped with ice cream or whipped cream (as desired!).
Adapted from here.