Baking is part of my DNA, having spent the first four years of my life in the kitchen of my great-grandmother’s little A-framed farmhouse at the tip of Candles Mountain in Virginia. As a farmer’s daughter and a farmer’s wife, Big Ma took her time and made everything from scratch. If I close my eyes – even now, years and miles away – I can taste the butter crust wrapped around the tart, sweet Lemon Chess Pie that made my eyes water and my mouth smile.
Through the years, I’ve changed or added a spice or two, but the basic recipes I use were passed down from Big Ma (who got them from her mother, and so it goes). I attended Peter Kump’s French Cooking School only to find that Big Ma cooked and baked in the same way; always fresh, always natural, without preservatives of any kind. Because in her kitchen, it never lasted long.
There is a lot of history in these cakes – from the Country Pound Cake that Granddaddy Howard swore had the power to bewitch a man to the Georgia Peach Pound Cake that Aunt Ula served with mint juleps, even though we were from Virginia.
I bake with flour and butter, love and memories of all that has passed and that yet to come... because we’re all just one sweet bite away from home.
Georgia Peach Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 ½ cups butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached flour (less 2 tablespoons set aside)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ cup sour cream
2 cups peaches, fresh, diced
4 tablespoons flour
Toss diced peaches with 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
In a small bowl, combine remaining flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add to the batter alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in the peaches.
Spray a bundt pan with baking spray and sprinkle with raw sugar. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.