Since I’ve been home from camp, I’ve been on a baking kick. That’s right, I haven’t even touched my new sewing machine yet. Not once. Every morning, I lay in my bed and plan out my day. After making a logically organized goal list for the day in the notes on my phone, I pull myself out of bed and get myself ready for what’s ahead. However, the moment I set foot in my kitchen, my sister’s new Kitchen Aid Mixer stares me in the eyes, softly calls my name, and practically plugs itself in. And that’s that. I end up baking all day.
I can’t complain though. The summer months are full of fantastic flavours and tastes that deserve to be baked into delicious treats. The winter months are good for rich chocolate-y desserts, but summertime screams “fresh fruit”! I joined my sister on a trip to the local farmer’s market the other day. While we were there, we found a whole assortment of locally grown fresh fruits that we couldn’t resist. We picked up some blueberries, strawberries, and peaches. But with all that fresh fruit, we had no choice but to bake with it. Otherwise it would just go to waste, right? So we scratched our heads, pulled out some of our favourite recipe books, and got to work.
As we drove home from the farmer’s market, it dawned on me that I didn’t really know what flavours went nicely with peaches. A while back I came across a recipe for Apple Pie Bread. It looked fabulously delicious but needed to be saved for the autumn. However, after pondering the peach question for some time, I realized that peach would be a nice summer alternative to apples in the recipe. As it turns out, my leap of faith paid off because the adapted peach bread turned out delicious. I went back for seconds. And thirds. Okay, and maybe fourths.
In this recipe, peach is paired with cinnamon to create the perfect summery sweetness without being overwhelming. The loaf is topped with a delicious walnut streusel to add an extra crunch. It is crumbly, but every single crumb is worth eating (trust me, I watched my Dad eat every crumb off his shirt that was dropped in the process of eating a piece). The bread can be enjoyed as breakfast, with your afternoon tea, or as a late night snack. It also packs quite well in lunches.
Did I mention that it’s easier than (peach) pie to make?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with shortening. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the buttermilk and baking powder and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. In a separate container, combine the cinnamon, flour, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the diced peaches. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan.
In a smaller bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour for the streusel topping. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until small crumbs form. Stir in the walnuts. Top the batter in the loaf pan with the streusel. Lightly press the streusel into the batter. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. When the loaf is finished, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow generous amounts of time to cool.
Once the bread is cooled completely, you can either slice it up piece-by-piece in the loaf pan or remove it from the pan and pre-slice it, storing the pieces in a tupperware container. The streusel can be quite crumbly so I personally find it more worthwhile to leave the bread in the loaf pan and slice it by need. That way, I can savour every bit of crumbly goodness!
What delicious fruits are in season around your neck of the woods? Do you have a local farmer’s market where you can get local fruits and veggies? What is your favourite summer fruit?
Have a peachy day, friends!