Makes one 9-inch cake
With its press-in-the-pan dough and fruit filling, this cake is similar, but not identical, to a German kuchen. Typically a kuchen has a cakey bottom and often a custard between the base and fruit. In this version, a tender pastry made with a little yellow cornmeal rises as it bakes to frame the nectarines. Ten minutes before the end of baking, slide the kuchen out of the oven and sprinkle with walnuts.
|Butter (for the pan)|
|Flour (for the pan)|
|¼||cup yellow cornmeal|
|⅔||cup granulated sugar|
|¾||teaspoon baking powder|
|Grated rind of 1 lemon|
|½||cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature, cut up
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1||teaspoon cold water, or more
if needed (optional)
|4||medium nectarines, each cut into
|Cinnamon-sugar made with
1½ tablespoons granulated sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon ground
cinnamon (for sprinkling)
|2||tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped|
|Confectioners’ sugar (for serving)|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
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2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon rind to blend them. Add the butter and with your fingers or 2 blunt knives cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles crumbs.
3. In another bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, cut the liquid into the flour mixture until it forms large clumps. If necessary add a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
4. Transfer the dough to the pan. With floured fingers, press the dough evenly on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Arrange the nectarine wedges slightly overlapping in an outer circle in the pastry. Fill the center with the remaining slices. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar.
5. Bake the kuchen for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with walnuts and continue baking for 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden. (Total baking time is 45 to 50 minutes.)
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Jean Kressy