Recipe: Peach Shortcake

Happy first day of summer, friends!

We've already had a few weeks of summer heat and so far I've dug my toes into the sand, bbq'ed a few hot dogs (as well as had my fav summer beer), hung by the pool, and covered myself in sunscreen and/or bug repellant from head to toe. I'm hoping for more of that as the summer weekends fly by. I thought about making a summer bucket list, but might just try to chill and see what the weekends bring.

Do you have big summer plans? Vacations and trips and big ideas? I hope you do! Got a bbq where you can't show up empty handed? I can help with that!

A twist on a strawberry shortcake, we're going a little wild and adding peaches instead of berries PLUS brushing these sweet little cakes with some peach syrup. The perfect way to feed a summer crowd but easy enough to throw together. We're hitting that sweet spot.

Peach Shortcake with Whipped Cream

Yields 8-12 slices

For the cake:
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For peach cake syrup:
1/2 cup peach puree (made from 1-3 peaches)
2/3 granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water

For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-7 peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 9-inch round cake pans by coating in butter and a thin layer of flour.

Make your cake: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to remove any lumps and combine ingredients. Mix in half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, then mix in the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the other half of the dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Split the batter evenly between the three 9-inch cake pans and bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Make your cake syrup: While the cake is baking, make your cake syrup. In a food processor, puree 1-3 peaches until you have a 1/2 cup of puree. In a small saucepan combine peach puree, sugar, and water. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolved (about 5 minutes) and remove from heat. 

Once your cakes are cooled, use a pastry brush to brush the syrup onto all over the top of them. Wait a few minutes until the syrup soaks in , then repeat. You can do this as many times as you want (I did 2-3 times), but you will have extra peach syrup.

Make your whipped cream: Place your metal mixing bowl and wire attachment in your fridge 10 minutes before you begin whisking. Add heavy cream and sugar to the bowl of the mixer. Begin whisking on low, and then gradually increase the speed until medium-high. Add in your vanilla extra. Continue to whisk until you have siff peaks (about 5-7 minutes).

Assemble the cake: place one cake on the center of a cake stand or large plate. Using a rubber spatula, spoon a third of the whipped cream into the center of the cake and spread towards the outside. Thinly slice your peaches and place them in an even layer on the whipped cream. For presentation purposes, you want to them to be all the way to the edge of the cake so you can see them once you assemble the rest of the cake. Repeat with the middle and top layer.

Store in the refrigerator or chilled space before serving. Because this is a "naked" cake, you'll want to eat the same day as the exposed cake will dry out faster.

Recipe: Key Lime Pie

A few weeks ago, we celebrated #PieDay and I tried to cull a handful of pie recipes from my archives. It was quickly made apparent to me that I have barely posted any pie recipes over the years. WHAT?! Being that pie is one of my top 3 desserts. (1. ice cream, 2. pie, 3. cookies, i think) I thought I would make a conscious effort in 2018 to make more pie.

We're kicking off this ✨dreamy✨ endeavor with a classic Key Lime Pie, but turned wayyyy up. This Key Lime Pie is packed with limey flavor. It's intense and needs the sweetness from the crust and whipped cream to make it work. I tend to like my citrus flavors pretty dominate and this hits that nail right on the head. 

Key Lime Pie

Yields 8 slices

Graham Cracker Crust:
12 graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Filling:
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup lime juice (if you want bottled, King Arthur has a recommendations & we trust them)
zest from 2 limes
4 egg yolks
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make your crust: In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, melted butter, salt, and sugar until you have a sand-like consistency. Press the crumbs into a pie dish until you have a 1/4 inch thickness on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Use the bottom of a glass to press and smooth out the crust. Bake for 10 mins or until slightly darker and fragrant. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely before adding filling.

Make your filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes. Mixture will become lighter in color and slightly thicker. Add in sweetened condensed milk and whisk for 5 minutes until combined and thick. Add in lime juice and whisk quickly until just combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake for 25 minutes. Finished pie will have a slight wiggle when you take it out. Let cool completely before serving. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.