I can hardly believe it, but I've been blogging for one year now! It was a journey that took me from feeling deflated that I was not provided a maternity leave by an employer, to one of empowerment as I grew my food blog to a solid following and began taking on clients and offering freelance services. And while doing that, I also found a full-time job at a wonderful organization keeping me doubly busy and fulfilled.
I will also honestly admit, that going from being a stay-at-home and work-at-home mom, to working full time at an external organization has been a massive adjustment, as you may have noticed from my now biweekly posts (formerly weekly posts). The pace of life is different, and learning an entirely new job is also exhausting as much as exhilarating, no matter how you slice it. But the good news is I'm beginning to feel better adjusted and I have been doing some planning moving ahead to hopefully get back on track with posting more regularly!
All that to say that I want to honour this first year of blogging, and a work-life balance that reaches back to my roots, but that's a staple in my family's kitchen. So I'm looking back to where this blog and journey started, which is on my family farm where I first fell in love with food and learned to cook with. Growing up, I learned to cook at a young age, and I loved it. We often used my grandmother's recipe box, and we had a beloved simple cake recipe we would use baked over a fresh local fruit base layer, called dump cake. Fast forward to present day, and we still use those recipes, some which I believe are better than any others I can find anywhere. And I'm teaching my young son to love cooking and food as well. It is a family affair, in our kitchen.
You may recall that a few months ago I shared my Grandma's Fruit Dump Cake recipe. It is one of my all time favourite cakes, but if you made it you will notice it serves a crowd (or perfect if you have teenagers who eat a lot)! This week I'm scaling the recipe back to be a more modest family-sized portion, and also updating the original crowd-sized recipe with the instructions for the peach variety as well. That way you can decide if you want to feed a family or a crowd!
When I was looking through existing recipes online, what I found surprising, and also disappointing, is that not only are most dump cakes using cake mixes (which just do not taste the same to me!), but they also insisted on using canned peaches in syrup. Hold on! Canned peaches can never, not ever, capture the flavour I would expect from a peach. In fact, I am so adamant about this that peaches are one the few pieces of fruit that I will only purchase when they are in-season in Ontario from our amazing Niagara region. Absolutely nothing beats the taste. I hope you enjoy this fresh peach cake with your seasonal produce as much a my family did!
Fresh Peach Dump Cake
Yield: 2 quart glass baking dish
Preparation Time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3/4 cup flour (unsifted)
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 6 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 6 tbsp milk
- 4.5 cups of peeled, sliced peaches (approximately 7 fully ripe medium size peaches)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla (optional, but recommended)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Grease a 2 quart glass casserole dish.
- Blanch, peel and slice the peaches and mix with the assigned amount of sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Place the mixture and level it in the glass baking dish.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Cream shortening, canola oil and white sugar together until smooth.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla and beat well.
- Add flour mixture and milk, alternating, into the egg mixture. Begin and end with the flour mixture as you alternately add in the milk and dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and the cake batter is smooth.
- Pour cake batter over the fruit in the baking pan and smooth out as much as possible.
- Bake the Fruit Dump Cake at 350F for 55-65 minutes until cooked through the cake batter in the centre.
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes, or until serving time and enjoy. Tastes great warm or cooled!
Kids in the Kitchen: The best part of this cake is that it uses seasonal fruit. Have your kids help harvest the fruits (if possible), giving them a truly "field to fork" experience. Kids also could help you to peel the peaches while an adult cuts the (as peaches are quite slippery to slice). The cake batter can easily be made in a stand mixer, where even the youngest chef can add ingredients into the mixer, and help to push the buttons for creaming and blending the cake batter.