Summer Is On The Way, And So Is The Stone Fruit!

Nectarine Coffee Cake

May is almost through and Summer is so close! At the market this past weekend, I was caught by the pleasant aroma of some nectarines… stone fruit and summer, what a combination! I know it’s likely too early for the nectarines to be local, but I had to scoop them up! They proved to be as delicious as they were fragrant, and I became nostalgic for recipes that could put their sweet, delicious character on display. I was reminded of the first class I taught at the Fullerton Arboretum, where Jonathan Davis and I made a lovely coffee cake using plums. Please take a minute to read the recipe below, and if you have access to good stone fruit, make it today!  If not – tuck the recipe away for later, it’s a great way to make your family and friends smile when the stone fruit is ripe. Who doesn’t like a good coffee cake, any time of day?

And speaking of our classes at Fullerton Arboretum, Jonathan Davis and I are teaching through the remainder of Summer and into the Fall, including our “Early Summer Celebration” class, held next Thursday May 28th. The menu for this class plans to include:

White Wine and Berry Spritzer, Crudite with Aioli, Beet and Butter Lettuce Salad, Grilled Fennel-Rubbed Pork Loin with Citrus Compote and Frozen Lemon Mousse.

Yum! We can’t wait! To register and view the full class schedule, click here!

Plum Pinon Streusel Cake Recipe

This recipe uses plums, but you may use your favorite stone fruit!

Serves 8 to 10

For the Streusel

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

½ cup packed dark-brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground canela (Mexican cinnamon) or regular cinnamon

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

Pinch of Salt

For the Crumb Topping

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

¼ teaspoon salt

For the Cake

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups sour cream

12 ounces small plums, such as Italian prune plums, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Prepare the streusel: Combine all streusel ingredients in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the crumb topping: Combine all of the topping ingredients in a bowl. Using a pastry bender or two knives, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 375. Brush a 10-inch tube pan with butter and dust with flour; tap out excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs in two batches, mixing well. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream and mixing until combined after each. Fold in plums.

Pour half the batter into prepared pan; sprinkle evenly with streusel. Top with remaining batter, then drizzle vanilla evenly over batter. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake until topping is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Good eating,

Jonathan Dye

Nectarines

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