august 28, 2019
It’s easy to get spoiled when you live in a climate where stone fruits, specifically peaches and nectarines, are available at local roadside stands and markets. I cannot remember the last time I purchased those fruits from the grocery store. Why would I, when the aroma and texture of Virginia stone fruit beckons, with white and yellow peaches and nectarines and cute smooshed donut peaches nestled in rustic baskets calling to me each time I make a run for vegetables.
High time I made proper use of these lovelies in a summer dessert. Aiming for a thicker clafoutis, a classic French dessert of fruits swimming in a pudding-like bath of egg, milk and sugar with a little flour thrown in for firmness, I offer a moist cake made with dense almond flour and just enough sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of yellow nectarines.
So, not quite clafoutis and not quite fluffy cake, but a satisfying vehicle for the yellow nectarines I use here, with peaches or plums a perfectly acceptable substitute.
This cake is best on the day it is created, but will last a day in a cool house or in the fridge. Best served at room temperature, its nutritional content is enhanced by a crown of ice cream—at least that’s how I rationalize the addition of my favorite frozen treat. Vanilla would be my number one choice and if I wanted more pizzazz, Avocado Lime Cilantro Ice Cream would be the perfect summery accompaniment and pairing it with Smoky Tea Ice Cream would be like having a civilized cup of tea with dessert, in frozen form.
Nectarine Almond Cake
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes 8 servings
1 cup almond flour
½ cup all purpose gluten free flour (regular all purpose flour also works well)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 cup half-and-half cream
4 large yellow or white nectarines, cut in half longitudinally *, pits removed
* peaches may be substituted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease two quart oblong baking dish with cooking spray.
- Whisk together flours with salt and set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and sugar for 1 minute until foamy; add almond extract and then dairy, gradually, mixing well.
- Whisk in dry ingredients – okay if a few lumps remain.
- Pour batter into greased baking dish and place nectarines, cut sides up, into dish, evenly spacing; it may be necessary to shave off a thin slice on the uncut side if fruit will not lay flat.
- Bake for 40 minutes, with edges golden and center still a little wobbly.
- Cool to room temperature and serve, if desired, with ice cream.
- Best enjoyed on the day made, but may be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator for one day.