I have never been confused with a baker. Baking is an exact science, requiring precision and patience. I prefer the ebb and flow of cooking. Standing over a stove and working ingredients into a pan in a manner and order I see fit, always changing ideas and ingredients with the seasons. I prefer cooking, mainly because of my inability to follow a recipe closely, but for this occasion I decided to opt for change. And bake. It was time.
With each passing morning I wake to fall’s reflection on the horizon. And with the chill pushing through earlier each night it has set in action an old familiar new. Reaching for comfort in the kitchen like we’ve done so many times before. Rustic, hearty soups, slow-cooked meals and lots of bread and cheese. And baking. Something warm and sweet and healthy and perfect to for a late night tea, bundled up with a sweater to catch the last of dusk on display outside.
We’ve seen temperatures steadily drop at night for a week now. And ever since the chill crept in I’ve been thinking about making something like this. I recently picked up some nectarines at the festival and had some cherries on hand so figured it would be the perfect opportunity to combine them for a fall cake. This cake.
Autumn is still some time out, officially not here for two more weeks. But this cake is a way of welcoming fall along. And it doesn’t disappoint. Just one look and bite and you’ll see.
From my kitchen,
Fall Stone Fruit Cake
- 3 nectarines, sliced into wedges
- 18 cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 2 tbsp. orange zest
- 3 organic eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 320°F.
- Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest in bowl of an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. The batter should be smooth and thick.
- Lightly grease the base and sides of an 9″ cake pan with parchment paper. Spoon the batter inside and top with the nectarine wedges and cherries halves and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked and a skewer tested in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a wired rack.
- Serves 6.