Did I ever mention that I have a friend that likes to post recipes he wants me to try on my Facebook page? Well he does, and this is one of them.
I’m not a huge fan of peaches (ok, I actually love the flavor of peaches, I just really hate the texture), but I was intrigued, and a little put off, by the amount of butter in this recipe and by the simplicity of the recipe in general. The other thing that piqued my interest was the list of ingredients and the fact that “papa” was in the title, leading you to assume that this was an old hand-me-down family recipe, and sometimes those are the best ones.
Like most simple recipes, when there isn’t a lot of direction, I tend to over think the process, only to get to the end and realize that I should have listened to my gut and it probably would have turned out fine, instead of thinking about what I would do next time. Well for this recipe, I decided to go with the former.
The dough came together just fine until I had to spread it in a cookie sheet. The recipe called for a “large rimmed cookie sheet” and suddenly I have no idea what this means. The pizza pan suggestion didn’t help either. There is a jelly-roll pan (which most of us use as cookie sheets today), or there’s the actual cookie sheet which is a few inches smaller than a jelly roll. Looking at the amount of dough I had, it didn’t seem like it would cover the bottom of an entire jelly roll pan and the only thing smaller I had was a 13×9 in pan, so I decided to go with that. (The picture from the recipe wasn’t helping either). Now I’m looking at my huge bowl of sliced peaches that I decided to cut them at about ¼ inch thick (maybe a little thinner), like I would for a pie, since the recipe didn’t indicate thickness. It looks like a ton, and I know that I will have to lay it out in layers instead of going rustic and dumping them in. So I put down one layer neatly, sprinkle with the sugar and ½ stick of butter then move on to the next layer. After putting down the last “pats” of butter, my arteries hardened a little and I put it in the oven.
I take a peek after 20 minutes and there is a sea of melted butter and peach juice floating on top. I scoop out some of the liquid and put it back in the oven for another 15-20 min, ignoring the directions. Where is all of that liquid going to go? In the dough? If so, it’s going to be a dense gummy mess, and since I didn’t add any flour or cornstarch like I would normally to fruit for a pie, I have no idea what will happen to the top. At the end of the second 20 minutes, I take peek and it’s still a bit runny, so I said “screw it” and just let it cook until the juices thickened on it’s own like a pie. That was another 30 minutes and I could tell that I was getting somewhere, because the dough was beginning to bubble up a tiny bit letting me know that I was actually baking. I take it out and let it cool almost completely. The peaches were mushy and the bottom was very tough to cut. The dough was dense and looked uncooked, but it was done. I took a bite and it was a bit of a textural nightmare, but the flavor was there. I’m really not sure why this is called “cake”. It’s more tart like than anything else. The dough was like a sweet tart dough and the peaches had just the right amount of sugar. I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m sure I don’t have to say what I would do differently (should be obvious), but I will make this again. Maybe when my parents come for a visit.
- 8-10 fresh ripe peaches
- 3 sticks butter
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat eggs and 2 sticks butter together in large mixing bowl. Beat in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add flour a cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until well combined. Spray large rimmed cookie sheet or large round-rimmed pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press dough evenly onto cookie sheet or pan, pressing dough to edge of pan.
Peel and seed peaches. Slice peaches and layer on top of dough. Be generous with peaches. Slice remaining stick butter into thin slices and layer on top of peaches. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 400° degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven off and let set in warm oven for another 30 minutes. Remove and cool. Slice and serve.
The recipe didn’t specify unsalted butter, so I went with salted and it was fine.