‘The countryside and nature are very important to me. They keep me in touch with life in real time, the seasons and months, the change of weather and time ticking along. And they also take me to the very roots of our food.
And here on the islands, fresh produce tastes clean and sweet because it is ripened to perfection by the sun that shines nearly every day of the year.
This is the month when peaches are abundant, at give-away prices in the greengrocers and in the weekends on the way to the seaside, trucks and vans line the roadside with the abundance of the land; colourful and nearly intoxicating with the fruity perfume of the peaches at their peak.
I like to use the best ingredients that I can get my hands on and fresh fruit always produces an amazing outcome. I love to add stone fruits to my baking. For me, it is the obvious thing to do rather than decorate cakes, heavy with sugarpaste. I like food that is as close as possible to its natural state, being able to see the bits of seed or skin set into the cake, I like the sensation of the different textures and the juice that oozes out while it is baking and then thickens as the cake cools down, nearly turning it into a bit of jam.
There is nothing better I can think of during this hot summer than biting into a ripe peach and waiting for the juices to gush into my mouth and drip down my lips, quenching the dryness. There are so many varieties in the market and I counted at least 10 different varieties with yellow and white flesh during the last week.
This recipe brings me back memories as a child. The taste of old fashioned custard combined with peaches and yet this cake is egg free, because Mr. Bird created the custard to suit his wife’s allergies. And this reminds me once again that the ‘free from’ trend is nothing new and way back in 1837, Mr. Bird was certainly a pioneer
You will need:
In the first bowl, mix well:
250g self raising flour, sifted twice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
In a second bowl, mix well:
500ml ready made Birds custard
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
[1-2 tablespoons stevia or agave or honey if you like very sweet cakes]
In a third bowl:
2 large peaches [or 3 smaller ones], sliced with skin on
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Prepare the ingredients in three separate bowls. Fold in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients by using a large metal spoon. If the mixture is too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water until you have a dropping consistency.
Prepare a cake tin with baking spray. Pour the batter into the cake tin and arrange the peach slices on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven and allow to cool before removing from the cake tin.