A kind man with an Italian name, reflective sunglasses, and a seat belt strapped securely across his chest recently posted a picture of his peach and blueberry yogurt cake on my Facebook page for Farmers’ Market Desserts. It made me hungry.
I had peaches. I had blueberries. I had yogurt. And I had an appetite. So I thought I’d see what I could concoct.
I was thinking of basing my cake on the Cornmeal Cake with Fresh Corn and Berries in FMD, but I made that recently and felt like something a little different. My next thought was the Late Summer Plum Cake I posted last summer on this blog. That cake already has sour cream and fruit, so it seemed like a good place to start. It also uses lemon verbena, which I adore, and which is growing enthusiastically in my herb garden.
I am in the middle of an intensive project and short on time, so I made the cake as simply as I could, substituting oil for the butter (and not as much). Since I had buttermilk on hand, I thought I’d use that and hold onto the yogurt.
This cake is the result. It’s more of a tea cake than something you would serve for dessert, really: gently sweet, full of fruit flavor, with nubby texture from the stone-ground cornmeal. It’s perfect with a cup of tea for breakfast, or for a mid-morning or late night snack. Or all three, as it served well today. It’s a keeper. I hope you will give it a try, too.
Thank you, Gianluca!
- 2 large or 3 small to medium peaches, peels on or off (I left them on), cut into approximately ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup blueberries
- Leaves from a sprig (about 5 inches) of lemon verbena, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar, or a squirt of honey), to your taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or another ½ cup all-purpose)
- ½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup wildflower honey, or your favorite varietal
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350"F with a rack in the center position. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Put the fruit in a bowl with the lemon verbena and sugar. Stir to coat the fruit. Let the flavors mingle while you continue on.
- Whisk the flour(s), cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and soda in a small bowl to combine them well.
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, honey, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the flour mixture until completely combined, no longer. Fold in the fruit with a spatula.
- Pour and spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is light golden on top and tests clean with a toothpick near the center, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes before digging in.
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