It’s peach season in the south. Every weekend, one of the vendors at the Covington Farmer’s Market drives from Chilton County, Alabama to Covington to sell her baskets of freshly picked peaches at our market. I was so grateful to load up my market bag this weekend with these sweet, fragrant, juicy stone fruits to add to my peach and almond cake.
Several states claim to have the best peaches. South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and even an area in north Louisiana around Ruston, all claim to have the juiciest, tastiest peaches. South Carolina supposedly harvests the most peaches each year, but Georgia holds the title for the best tasting peaches in the south.
There are many varieties of peaches. The traditional yellow peach is the best all around and the kind of peach that when you bite into it, the juice runs down your arm. That’s a good peach in my opinion. The white peach is a milder tasting peach. The freestone peaches are best for baking and the clingstone peaches are the preferred fruit for canning and preserving.
Ottolenghi’s recipe from his cookbook “Sweet,” for apricot and almond cake was easily adapted for a peach and almond cake. The cake reminds me of a pineapple upside down cake however it is not inverted. Lots of butter and cinnamon and ground almonds form a crusty layer on top. I prefer to serve the cake warm either after a meal or especially for breakfast. If you serve it after a meal, a little fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on the side pairs well with this dessert.