Summer rolls around and I begin to see all the signs of a fruitful cooking season. First rhubarb and strawberries, then plums, cherries, and peaches. Peaches! A good peach can make me weak in the knees. A friend even brought one back for me from Georgia once so I could taste a bit of the myth, however, California’s own Frog’s Hollow Peaches are usually the pinnacle of peach season. And blackberries! I used to pick them off our fence and make blackberry ice cream as a kid. So when I see all these fruits in the grocery store I turn into a kid in a candy factory until I brought them home recently . . . .
Tart and flavorless blackberries and bland, squishy peaches. The cook in me should have been frustrated and I was. Hence, I put in an order for our first regular CSA box from Farm Fresh to You. At the same time, I just couldn’t throw away fruit. It’s wasteful and sad for the fruit (poor fruit). The San Francisco Chronicle, wisely published an article on what to do with tart blackberries – a Blackberry Crunch Cake. And Cook’s illustrated published a Peach Cake Recipe. So it was battle of the fruit cakes (not the ho ho ho kind). A cake definitely allows you to play up the flavor of the fruit and tinker with it if it’s not right. If you use bland peaches or blackberries on a pie and you get mediocre results. The peach cake turned out beautiful but still soggy. I wouldn’t recommend the recipe. The peach flavor was definitely elevated but it was nothing special. However, the blackberry crunch cake was spectacular and I highly recommend that this be a staple in your recipe collection. It’s really beautiful, has lovely texture and plays up a fruit that’s not always featured. Click here for the recipe.