Simon has this annoying habit of buying more fruit than he could ever possibly eat. So when he went up to a cottage this weekend and left me behind with a basket of just-shy-of-overripe peaches, something had to be done. Something with brown butter. And buttermilk.
Omar likes peaches.
A couple weeks ago, Smitten Kitchen posted a Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle. What exactly is a buckle, you ask? Well it's a cake topped with so much fruit that the cake buckles around it. This one in particular has a buttermilk & brown butter cake topped with peaches and streusel.
I made some changes too: most obviously, I substituted peaches for the nectarines, used brown sugar in the streusel, and added vanilla to the cake. It turned out beautifully. The cake is deliciously moist, the streusel is crunchy and sweet, and the fruit is, well, it's fruit, you know what it's like. The brown butter flavour was, as Smitten Kitchen mentioned, too subtle. But with the vanilla (which I highly recommend), the fruit, the buttermilk, and the brown sugar, it's not lacking for flavour. You can use whole milk but why pass up an excuse to buy (or make a reasonable substitute. I know, scary, right? I promise it doesn't involve churning.) buttermilk?
I recommend not making this when home alone for a weekend. Even if the kitten promises he won't let you eat the whole thing. The kitten is an enabler and will not do a damned thing once it's done. I, also being an enabler, brought half the cake over to my parent's house, to my father who was also abandoned for cottage country (I might be more of an enabler than the cat).
Peach Brown Butter Buckle
Blatantly stolen from Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 190 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons (9 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
Pinch of allspice
1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds peaches, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges (about 4 cups or 5 medium sized peaches)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Reserved butter from cake (above)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces or 64 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns. Set aside and let cool (the fridge will hasten this along).
Prepare you pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan, springform or cast iron skillet with parchment paper and butter the paper and rest of the pan generously; set aside.
Make the cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and allspice in medium bowl to blend. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cooled browned butter (set aside remaining 1/4 cup for topping), vanilla, sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Stir in milk or buttermilk. Stir dry ingredients into this wet mixture; mix until just combined and spread batter in prepared pan. Toss peach wedges with lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer on top of the batter.
Make the streusel and bake the cake: Stir remaining brown butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt (I think I added some nutmeg just because I had some and really like using a microplane) together until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the peach-topped batter with crumbs. Bake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.