If I had to pick one summer fruit that I couldn't live without, it would have to be a peach. Growing up in the South, one could smell a peach stand miles away. That sweet floral and fruity scent is unmistakeable. Once at the stand, there would be bags filled to the brim with juicy, ripe peaches. And when I say juicy, I mean "bend the top half of your body and your eating arm forward-running down your arm and drip off your elbow" juicy. Oh, what I wouldn't give to get my hands on a good juicy Southern peach! However, there still are some perfectly suitable peaches grown here in the Midwest.
This coffee cake is one we enjoy for a Sunday summer breakfast treat. It is a tender cake flavored with vanilla and lemon zest. The peaches rest atop the batter and a cinnamon streusel is sprinkled on top. Baked until brown with some peach juices bubbling-- this is one sweet slice of summer.
*One note-- make sure you use ripe, but still firm peaches. Keep those extra juicy ones for eating all by themselves. Otherwise there will be too much moisture and the batter will not bake properly.
Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
For the Streusel
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the Cake
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra large egg at room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large firm, ripe peaches, about 1 pound; peeled, sliced, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 8 wedges per peach)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring-form pan, knocking out the excess.
For the Streusel
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, both sugars, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand; set aside.
For the Cake
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, beat together the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and zest using a whisk or hand-held mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix just until moistened. Do not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange the peach wedges in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center. Gently press the slices into the batter. Squeeze a handful of the streusel mixture in your hand, breaking into small clumps and sprinkling evenly over the peaches. Continue with the remaining streusel.
Bake until the streusel is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma