There are few things that I enjoy more with my breakfast than coffee cake. Though, for obvious reasons, I don’t often get the chance to have it. Well, a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to experiment with a new coffee cake recipe. Is it really a surprise that it came from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook? I think not.
To be honest, I’ve been eyeing this recipe for quite some time. But since there is a fruit topping instead of the crumb top, I decided to wait until the nicer weather rolled around. In-season is so much better in baked goods. Now that the seasons are turning from spring to summer, there are so many fruits available to choose from. For this recipe, I decided to top the coffee cake with sliced peaches and blackberries.
The first thing I did was peel and slice the peaches. I remember seeing Ina Garten boil the peaches for just a few seconds and them submerge them in ice water. This shocks them and makes the skin extremely easy to peel. That was the easy part.
The difficult part, believe it or not, was slicing them. Once the peels were removed the peaches were extremely slippery and I couldn’t get the halves to separate from the pit. So, I sliced around the pit. Other than my slices being smaller and less uniform, it still worked fine. It was just a little disappointing. Once the peaches were sliced, I set them on a towel to absorb some of the juice so it wouldn’t make the batter too soggy.
Then I turned to making the batter.
This was a simple part of the process but I knew once the batter was fully combined that not all of it would fit into my 10-inch tart pan. It baffled me that the recipe says to use a 9-inch one. I filled that batter to nearly the top of the tart part (not a good idea in hindsight). If I had a 9-inch pan I would have had a lot of batter left over.
Once the batter was in the pan, I arranged the peach slices and blackberries as artfully as I could on top. I sprinkled some sugar on top and placed it in the oven. However, since the pan was very full, I had the foresight to bake the tart pan on a sheet tray. I didn’t want a repeat of my birthday cake.
The cake went into the oven and started baking. As it baked, I checked on it. And was only slightly disappointed to see that my foresight was, indeed, needed. The batter did overflow the pan. But this time the cookie sheet underneath caught all the extra batter and it continued to bake without burning on the bottom of my oven. It also meant I would get to sample the finished cake and I wouldn’t have to cut into it.
When I took it out of the oven, I noticed that most of the fruit sank in a little bit. I wouldn’t realize that the blackberries sank mostly to the bottom of the pan and became little piles of purple-black goo. They were still tasty though. As for the peach slices, they sank about halfway and a thin “crust” formed around each of them.
I let the coffee cake cool and opted to not dust it with powdered sugar. Since the cake wasn’t going to be eaten right away this was the best decision.
Eventually, I did cut into it. The baked cake was delicate and moist. It was also FULL of fruit. In fact, I think I included too much fruit in it. I probably could have skipped the blackberries all together. Still, it was very yummy and a nice change from the denser, thicker coffee cakes with the crumb toppings that are more common.
I can definitely see why this is a major hit at the Magnolia Bakery. Adding the fruit takes the cake to another level and I think that omitted the fruit from the batter would leave you with something to be desired.