Sweet Sweet Summer.
Sweet summer days are drawing to a sorrowful end as I refuse to relinquish my hold on these rapidly diminishing days of fun, sun, and yum – juicy summer fruits. Instead, I’m relishing the last fleeting moments I have with my beloved seasonal fruits before school resumes and holds me captive once again. It saddens me deeply to know that my quickly increasing agenda prevents me from satisfying my constant and obsessive need to bake and cook anything and everything in sight. Fortunately enough, I’ve been able to produce relatively copious amounts of foods and baked goods in the wee hours of the morning and early afternoon that are currently and happily available for me to dedicate myself entirely to this endeavor. I couldn’t be more thankful or spiteful for this temporary time of freedom.
I don’t know. Contrary to this sweet and succulent fruit baked into this rich and lavish cake, I feel a bit bitter. Although I should feel proud and ecstatic about my newly earned job and internship opportunities, I dread the fact that combined with school and my current job, time will never be on my side and always be out of my reach. Sure, I shouldn’t be complaining and grumbling but I – just – can’t – help – it. Keeping a foodie away from restaurants and his or her kitchen is like keeping an athlete away from his or her playing field or court. It’s unheard of, the utmost cardinal sin. Regardless, I’m sure that as I’ve managed to do thus far, I’ll somehow to find a ridiculous way to manage my time and continue to bake and cook as I please. Even if it calls for self-induced insomnia, I swear.
Especially if it allows me to create such irresistible masterpieces as this decadent nectarine brown butter crumb cake that gives off an unforgettable scent and flavor that lingers in your mouth. One bite sends you on a nostalgic journey to a childhood summer day full of care-free fun and comforting simple sweets – a day you want to savor forever.
Nectarine Brown Butter Crumb Cake
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 (I used whole milk, either works fine)
1 1/2 pounds nectarines, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges (about 4 cups)
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 the 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 your pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan (I used this), 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), 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 nectarine 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, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the nectarine-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.