I’m a sucker for anything rustic and old-fashioned, especially when it comes to food. Give me something simple, made well with knowing hands. Preferably served up family-style on a big platter. This is how I cook and this is how I prefer to eat.
At first glance this cake might look like a type of pie or cobbler, and in some ways it is. You line the tart dish like a pie and dollop the fruit with dough like a cobbler. What is different, however, is that the two dough layers come together while baking to make a marvelous cake with a delightfully crunchy top.
STONE FRUIT TEA CAKE
Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson
This dough threw me off at first. It is quite wet once together, but don’t panic, throwing it in the freezer firmed it up. I used a combo of peaches and blueberries, because they go so well together. Any stone fruit or berry would work. Be careful that your fruit isn’t overly ripe.
2 1/4 cups of flour (for GF – 1 1/4 c. brown rice flour, 1/2 c. potato starch, 1/2 c. tapioca starch and 1 tsp. xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups chopped stone fruit or berries (fresh or frozen)
turbinado or cane sugar for sprinkling
- In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients except the sugar, through the sea salt. Set aside.
- Cream your choice of fats along with the granulated sugar for a few minutes or until pale and fluffy. I used my stand mixer.
- Add each egg to the sugar mix, one at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour mix. It will quickly form a smooth dough, almost like cake batter. Scrape the dough onto plastic wrap, wrap tightly and flatten into a disk. Place in the freezer to firm up 30 minutes.
- Preheat your over to 375
- Oil a 10″ round tart pan.
- Remove your dough from the freezer after 30 minutes and break in two halves. Using your hands press half of the dough into the tart pan and up the sides. Place your fruit on top. Pull small chunks of dough (the size of a plum) from the remaining half of dough and place on top of the fruit, distributing somewhat evenly. There will be gaps! That’s okay because the chunks will cook and spread to meet. Sprinkle the dough chunks lightly with cane sugar.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the cake is somewhat firm to the touch or until a cake tester comes out clean. At this point I placed my cake under the broiler for a minute or so to brown it a little more, but keep a close eye on anything under the broiler. Let it cool a bit before serving (I’m terrible at that last bit. I always dig right in).
* This reheated well and the top crisped back up the next day by placing it in the oven for 10 minutes or so.