Peachy Almond Zucchini Cake

time for tea It’s been a bit of a rainy August around here but that hasn’t stopped our zucchini plant from offering up a new zucchini (or several) every day. I’ve made raw zucchini salads and we’ve had lots of it sautéed with onions and feta, but today I felt like making something to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Did I mention that it was raining?


There are more zucchini lurking in there… I swear I heard it say “feed me”! 😉
Rather than make the same old zucchini bread, I thought I’d add a seasonal touch with some peach jam and complement that flavor with some almond flour. Peaches and almond go together like rainy days and tea.

long shot tea time

I made a glaze for the top out of some peach juice that I collected while preparing some of glazedour own tree’s donut peaches for a pie. It was a lovely pale pink color and very cheering.

baby's peaches

moist slice


Peachy Almond Zucchini Cake


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup mild flavored olive oil
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract ( I used the bourbon that I keep my plumped vanilla beans soaking in for several months at a time)
  • 1/2 cup chunky peach preserves ( I used my mom’s homemade jam made with peaches and Amaretto)
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grind salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cassia cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 -1/4 cups finely grated zucchini squeezed to eliminate most of the liquid (about 1 medium to largish zucchini)
  • 1 cup blanched almond meal (I used Honeyville Farms brand)


  • 1 cup powdered, confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or Amaretto liqueur
  • enough fresh peach juice to make a glaze consistency – use orange juice if you don’t have fresh peaches

Butter and flour a Bundt or tube pan, tap out the excess flour and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Wash and dry the zucchini, trim one end and grate in the fine holes of a grater or use the fine disk of a food processor. Place the grated zucchini into a sieve and let it drain, squeezing it well with your hands until you can’t get any immediate liquid out of it. Set aside.

Cream the butter and add the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and jam. Beat well at medium speed of a stand mixer or vigorously by hand until all is light and fluffy.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. Use a whisk or a fork to mix them together well. Add to the creamed ingredients and mix lightly but well so that there are no dry bits left.

Add the zucchini and the almond flour and mix well. Place into the Bundt pan evenly and smooth the top with a spatula. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes then rotate the pan front to back and bake for 25-30 minutes more until a toothpick comes out dry and it is firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool. You may glaze it while hot or wait until it cools further. If you glaze it hot the glaze soaks into the cake. If you glaze it cool it tends to stay on top. Or you can not glaze it at all and sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar or leave plain. Your choice. 🙂





Apple and Cherry Pie Oh my!



Why have I never thought to combine these two before? Completely silly because- oh yeah it’s that good. Use this crust recipe:

Gabi’s Best Pie Crust

  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached All Purpose wheat flour
  • 1 cup cold, cold butter, salted or unsalted as you have on hand and cut into small bits
  • large pinch of salt if using unsalted butter, smaller if using salted
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, can omit if making a savoury pie
  • 1/2 cup of iced water  (a bit more or less as humidity requires)

That’s it. If using a food processor, place the flour, salt and sugar into the work bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until only a few pea sized bits of butter coated with the flour mixture remain. It should look like coarse sand or cornmeal. Place a few ice cubes into a 1 cup liquid measuring cup and add cold water, let sit for a minute then remove the ice cubes and pour off all but 1/2 cup of the water. Add to the processor whilst pulsing, add just enough for the dough to become a bit moist and start to clump together. Remove the top of the processor bowl and dump the bowl onto a square of cling film (plastic wrap)  on your counter or work surface. Use the cling film to gather the crumbly, shaggy dough together into a uniform shape so you can divide it in half. Cut in half with a bench knife or something not too sharp, taking care to not cut through the cling film. Put half of the dough onto another square of cling film and gently shape each half  into a disk on its own piece of cling film. Wrap securely and chill until ready to use- or at least a half hour. Can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated or frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out, if frozen. Roll while chilled out, let it sit for no more than 5 minutes out of the fridge before rolling, to about an 1/8″ inch  (3mm) thickness. Makes enough for 1 double crust or two single crust pies. This recipe can be doubled easily. Make the filling:

  • 10 cups sliced peeled apples – use a mix of apples for best result- granny smith, gala, Fuji etc.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pitted tart pie cherries, thaw if frozen- I get mine from Woodyatt Cherry Farms in Willard, UT
  • 2 Tablespoons instant tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cold butter cut into bits


  • Egg wash made of a yolk and 2T milk  or 2 T heavy cream
  • Sanding or raw sugar, optional

Mix the filling ingredients together except for the butter bits and set aside. Line a 9″ pie plate with half of the above recipe of pie dough, chill for 20 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour the filling into the chilled crust. Top with bits of butter. Make a lattice out of the other crust or just top any way you wish. Crimp the crusts together. Brush with a bit of cream or an egg wash. Sprinkle with a bit of raw sugar if desired. Make vent holes if you didn’t make a lattice. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and put in middle of preheated oven. Bake 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 50 minutes or so more until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly with tender apples. Cool before serving or you’ll have a soupy pie.   applecheerypie.jpg


Here’s a youtube of Woodyatt Farms for your viewing pleasure:

Woodyatt Cherry Farm You Tube

Enjoy! xoxo

Water-Proofed Bread, Who Knew?

interior crumb

Today I made bread using a crazy method and relying on total faith in the Bread Baking Babes and well, to be fair, also faith in James Beard. I mean, who would come up with the idea of wrapping bread dough into a towel and submerging it in a big bowl of water to proof? I guess that would be James Beard, in his book “Beard on Bread” from 1973 and I guess it would be Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms who would choose it for this month’s bake along. Crazy I tell you. Crazy like a fox! 🙂 The whole time I was just thinking what kind of a mess am I getting myself into?  Yet there were the Babes telling me it could be done -so I did it. I recently asked to bake along with the Babes as a Buddy, but life has been one crazy ride this last year and this month is the first I’ve actually made it to posting. Thanks for letting me tag a long and thanks to Elle for choosing the adventure. You really can learn something new every day. 🙂 This bread is delicious and light yet rich and buttery like a brioche.  I think it’s brilliant and is a keeper. My towel even came clean. 🙂

baked loaf

I copied the recipe from Elle with her notes and added mine in red below:


Water-Proofed Bread from Beard on Bread, 1973 makes two loaves

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 – 115 degrees F, approximately)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour More flour for the tea towel
Rinse a 4-quart mixing bowl with warm water. Dry thoroughly. Put in the yeast, the 1/2 cup warm water, and the teaspoon of sugar, and stir until the yeast dissolves. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
proofed yeast
Heat the milk with the butter and 1/4 cup sugar until lukewarm, then add to the yeast mixture. Add the salt and stir to blend well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and again blend thoroughly.(Note from Elle: I actually added 1 cup of flour after the salt and before the eggs, just to give the mixture a little body. That seemed to work well. I added the rest of the flour after the eggs had been stirred in one at a time until well blended.) I followed Elle’s note and added the 1 cup of flour here.
Then stir in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, to make what will probably be a very wet and sticky dough. Stir quite vigorously. (I used my Kitchen Aid with a beater blade and used the  “stir setting” then pushed it up to the highest for a few minutes- I think that made it a bit less like a batter and developed some gluten for the next phase.)
Spread out the dough on a working surface – a table, a piece of marble, or a board – sprinkled with the additional 1/2 cup flour. Use a baker’s scraper or large spatula to work in this last portion of flour and make the dough firmer. Scrape under the flour and the dough, lifting and folding inward. Repeat until the flour is well incorporated. When the dough is easy to handle, begin kneading by hand. (Note from Elle: I worked in another 1/2 cup flour here.)
initial dough
Continue until the dough can be shaped. (The process of kneading first with the scraper and then by hand is very effective for delicate dough. In this case the dough will remain rather sticky, but don’t worry about it.)
on dish towel
 Lift the dough, pat with flour, and place on a clean kitchen towel also sprinkled with flour. ( Use a stout tight weave smooth towel )Wrap it and tie it in the towel, just as you would a package, but very loosely. Submerge this packet in a large bowl filled with warm water (about 100 – 115 degrees F, approximately). It will sink. Let sit for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until it rises sufficiently to float on top of the water. (Note from Elle: Took mine closer to an hour).  (Mine took about 1/2 hour). Lift the dough from the water and let the excess water drip off.submerged
Un-wrap and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Again it will be quite sticky, so scrape off any dough that adheres to the towel. Be firm with your scraper and almost all of the dough with come off of the towel. Don’t worry that the dough is slack it will recover! 🙂
prepare to scrape
Knead and shape into two loaves, using both dough scraper and your hands. Thoroughly butter two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and place one loaf in each pan. Cover, put in a warm, draft-free place, and let the dough rise slightly above the tops of the pans, or until almost doubled in bulk.
 Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the dough with cold water, and, if you like, make a slash in each loaf with a sharp knife. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when rapped with the knuckles, top and bottom. When done, place the loaves directly on the oven rack, without their pans, to brown the bottom a little more and crisp the crusts. Cool on racks.
formed loaves
risen slashed loaves

finished loaves

Please check out all the wonderful bread baking of the Babes:

Katie of Thyme for Cooking, our Fabulous Round-Up Babe Bake My Day – Karen Blog from Our Kitchen – Elizabeth Bread Experience – Cathy Girlichef – Heather Life’s a Feast – Jamie Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya Lucullian Delights – Ilva My Diverse Kitchen – Aparna My Kitchen in Half Cups – Tanna Notitie van Lien – Lien