There has been a request for a recipe using peaches. The markets currently abound with peaches of all sorts including Redhavens, Weinbergpfirsiche and Honigpfirsiche. More aromatic than sweet, Weinbergpfirsiche grow in vineyards. Almost forgotten by the eighties, they have enjoyed a comeback. Their flesh is white instead of the usual yellow, though there is also a red variety which I haven’t tried. Honigpfirsiche, or honey peaches, which I saw yesterday for the first time, have a rather unusual shape (the picture above shows a honey peach on the left and a Redhaven on the right).
Prunus persica originated in China, where is it associated with longevity. Peaches are drupes with rough seeds, though there are two kinds of cultivars, clingstone and freestone. As their names suggest, they differ in how much effort is necessary to separate the flesh from the pit. Bruising easily, they are a delicate fruit that do not handle extremes well, preferring temperatures between -15°C and 30°C. The difference between a peach and a nectarine is slight; they belong to the same species. Due to a recessive gene, however, a nectarine has a smooth skin instead of the typical peach fuzz.
In English, the expression peach fuzz refers to a small amount of hair. I associate it with adolescent boys when they start to grow facial hair. If someone is a peach, he or she is sweet and helpful. And if everything is peachy keen, life is good.
Everything was peachy keen after I took the first bite of the moist poundcake below. Poundcakes are traditionally made of one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. I stuck with this ratio more or less. Since I was out of sugar, in went the honey. Since amaretto blends well with peaches, in went the liqueur.
And the poppy seeds…A week ago I perused a cookbook about traditional food from Chernivtsi, which is today a part of Ukraine but a hundred years ago was the capital of Bukovina and part of the monarchy. On August 14, Swjato Makoweja, a poppy seed festival, is celebrated. Water, poppy seeds, flowers, and herbs are blessed in a special church ceremony bidding farewell to the summer. In honor of the harvest and the end of summer, then, here is a peach-poppy seed poundcake recipe for you to enjoy.
Peach-poppy seed poundcake
190 g (7 oz.) butter
200 g (2/3 c) honey
4 eggs, beaten
200 g (1 2/3 c) flour
½ ts mace
1 ts baking powder
30 g (¼ c) poppy seeds
a few Tbs ground almonds
pinch of salt
50 ml (¼ c) amaretto
4-5 peaches, peeled and diced
Soften the butter. Cream the butter and honey together. Add the eggs, then the amaretto.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the wet batter. Stir just to combine.
Mix in the peaches with a spoon. Pour into a buttered loaf or bundt pan.
Bake for about 60 minutes at 180°C (350°F) until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.