The German-inflected town of Fredericksburg in Texas Hill country is “Peach Central,” the biggest tourist draw in the largest peach-producing county in Texas. So it’s no surprise that Fredericksburg Culinary Arts, a cooking school located at Fischer & Wieser’s Das Peach Haus, would build a demonstration cooking class around this juicy, delectable fruit.
What is surprising is that peaches can take you from salad to dessert without being too sweet, too monotonous, or, well, too peachy. Carole Seminara and her husband, Joe Houde, innkeepers in Fredericksburg, also operate the cooking school, which is open to visitors year-round. Most lessons are $49 for two hours, include 4-5 recipes, and serve “ample samples” for consumption. For a September class of eight people, they prepared the peachy meal to show off the region’s local ingredients – not only peaches but jalapeños, goat cheese, pecans and various herbs. -JANICE FUHRMAN
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 ½ tablespoon for topping
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1 cup ripe peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 medium peaches)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease and flour 9-inch cake pan, preferably spring-form pan. Set aside. In medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In electric mixing bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup granulated sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well combined, another minute or two. At low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour. Mix until batter is combined but do NOT beat. Scrape batter into prepared pan and level. Arrange sliced peaches in even layer over batter. Sprinkle remaining 1 ½ tablespoon sugar over fruit. Bake in middle of oven until cake is golden and tester inserted in center of pan comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.