Sunday, June 15, 2014

Peach Blueberry Torte

The sun plays hide and seek. Trees sway willy-nilly in the wind. I hear the ominous rumble of thunder. Green vistas pummel my senses with a feeling of tranquility. And even as I hear the pitter patter of cascading water, I still feel the sense of calm and serenity. It also helps that I have the pleasing aroma of a cake baking, as I watch the impending monsoon. Baking on a Sunday afternoon as Fleetwood Mac plays, is as reaffirming as the rain pelting the parched earth. 

The bounty of summer goes into the cake. I have been making this cake/ torte for some twenty odd years. I first came across the recipe twenty eight years ago in the Dining section of the New York Times. I had failed to snip the recipe and regretted my action for the next few years. I guess there were many other negligent souls like me, as they reprinted it. It is a Marian Burros recipe, an oft-repeated treasure she had threatened to stop publishing! Needless to say I did cut it out. I still have that yellowed small recipe, now enshrined in a glossy plastic cover. A recipe that I do not need to refer to anymore, as I had made the torte countless times. Google the recipe and you will see so many food bloggers salivating over this particular recipe. Smitten Kitchen and Food52 have immortalized this tried and trusted recipe.

Her original torte stars plums, but that not being my favorite fruit, I use apples and pears in autumn and winter, peaches, raspberries, blueberries and such summer fruit successfully. The flavors marry perfectly, my favorite being peach and blueberry. Though apple and fresh cranberries come in a close second. Then again I like pear and pistachio too. Today, the aroma of peaches dominates the kitchen. Today's choice fills the house with a taste of summer. Sugar and butter fluff up nicely. Everything else gets dumped in. Though I do sift the flour in for a little additional lift. That pinch of salt gives the torte the perfect touch, but I have left it out on many occasions. I arrange peach slices in an attractive pattern, interspersed with plump blueberries. A dusting of sugar and into the oven it goes

Adapted from Marian Burros Plum Torte
Serves 4-6

3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Flour, sifted
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking powder
A Pinch of Salt (optional )
2 Peaches
1/2 cup Blueberries

Let butter and eggs come to room temperature.

Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.

Add eggs, sifted flour, baking powder and salt and beat well till everything is well mixed.

Heat oven to 350F.

Cut peaches into 1/4 inch slices.

Pour batter into a round 8 inch Pyrex dish or a rectangular dish. You can use any oven proof dish.

Arrange peaches in a decorative pattern pushing the wedges firmly into batter. 

Scatter blueberries around peaches.

Dust the batter with remaining teaspoon of sugar and place into oven.

Bake for 40 minutes. 

Test the batter with a skewer or knife. The skewer should be free of any wet batter. 

Cool for a few minutes, slice any which way you like and consume!

The emanating aroma from the oven perfumes the air. Patience is a real virtue at this point!!! The cake comes out of the oven all puffed, crusty and light brown. Peaches are neatly wedged in. Blueberries burst at random intervals. I can't wait to cut a piece. Rain threatens yet again as we sit down to dinner. A generous portion promises to please that sweet tooth. Marian Burros comes through for the hundredth time. And I think I need to laminate that old recipe for future generations!!