Updated: Mar 7, 2022
We always love to end our meals with something sweet, and in the summer, our dessert usually includes fruit cake. This is the cake our moms and grandmas taught us how to bake using the soft and squishy peaches, plums, and nectarines left in the bottom of the fridge, the over-ripe fruit under the tree, or the ones they purchased for a nickel-and-dime at the open-air market on Friday afternoon - when prices significantly dropped down just hours before the market was to close for the entire weekend. The latter is the reason that in many houses, this quick-to-make fruit cake was the summertime cake for Shabbat.
Here, we share the traditional version with a few changes. We swap the margarine (that had been used to comply with the kosher diet) with butter, and since whole wheat and other grain flours are more common today, we split the amount of flour into half all-purpose and half whole wheat (spelt flour would be perfect here too). Lastly– we recommend blending all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon, rather than using an electrical mixer. Trust us, the mixer is usually our right hand but here it takes the same amount of time mixing by hand and will result in a perfect spongy texture.
Makes 1 cake (use 9-inch round cake pan)
¾ cup (140 gr) unbleached all-purpose flour + ¾ cup (150 gr) whole wheat flour (OR 1 ½ cup /210 gr unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup (150 gr) cane sugar + about 1 Tablespoon to sprinkle on top of the fruit
3 large eggs
150gr soft butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 large peaches, unpeeled, washed, and cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 360℉ and grease the pan with soft butter.
In a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder, add the sugar, the butter, stir the eggs and the vanilla extract. Blend until just incorporate (mixture should be sticky).
Spread the dough in the pan and smooth it down.
Arrange the fruit wedges on the dough, pushing each wedge a little bit into the batter. Arrange in circles, starting with the perimeter of the pan.
Bake for 35 minutes until cake is turn golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream scoop, keep in the fridge up to 5 days.
Traditionally, we use fresh fruits for this cake, anything that is in season. When we moved to the US, I was surprised to learn that canned and frozen fruit are cheaper here than fresh ones. It’s completely the opposite in Israel (frozen fruit, in fact, are rarely available). You can use whatever is available and economic - from fresh apricots, blueberries, cherries, apples, or pears to frozen berries, drained tangerines, or canned peaches.