This cake bakes for a long time at a moderate temperature, which helps keep the ripe fruit from bursting and releasing its juices. The easy-to-make pastry bakes up moist and crumbly, with a texture that’s like a cross between a biscuit and a cake.
A note from our cooks: We’ve received some letters from readers complaining about a burned crust when making the peach blueberry cake (August 2005 cover), so we ran through the recipe two more times. Baked in a standard light-colored metal pan, the cake was perfect; baked in a dark metal pan, however, it burned — be aware that the cake’s high sugar content makes it more susceptible to burning at high heat. As you’ll see in “Tips: A Guide to Using Gourmet‘s Recipes” (located on the recipe index page) we recommend always using light-colored metal pans for baking. Dark metal pans, including nonstick, will cause your baked goods to brown more quickly. Manufacturers suggest reducing the oven temperature by 25 degrees when using dark pans.
- Yield: Makes 8 servings
- Active Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 3 1/2 hr (includes cooling to warm)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
- 2 lb firm-ripe large peaches (about 4), halved lengthwise, pitted, and each half cut lengthwise into fourths
- 1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Special equipment: a 9- to 91/2-inch (24-cm) springform pan; an electric coffee/spice grinder
Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.
Press dough onto bottom and evenly (about 1/4 inch thick) all the way up side of springform pan with floured fingertips. Chill pastry in pan until firm, about 10 minutes.
Make filling while pastry chills:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Grind 2 tablespoons sugar with flour and tapioca in grinder until tapioca is powdery, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice and gently toss to coat. Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with a sheet of foil, until filling is bubbling in center and crust is golden, about 1 3/4 hours.
Transfer cake in pan to a rack and cool, uncovered, 20 minutes, then carefully remove side of pan.
Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature, then cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife before serving.
Pastry can be made and pressed into pan 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before filling.