The nectarines on my counter were begging to be used. I love nectarines, and I did a little jig in the fruit store when they finally made their appearance this spring. I think I may have been a tad overenthusiastic, as I had several leftover that were getting soft. This cake was born as a result, and I must say, it’s scrumptious.
- nectarines - 4 small, peeled, halved, and sliced (it doesn't have to be perfect)
- lemon juice - of 1 lemon
- sugar - 1/4 cup
- margarine - 1/2 cup (1 stick) non-trans fat (or butter)
- oil - 1/4 cup
- sugar - 1 1/3 cup
- flour - 1 1/2 cups
- baking powder - 1 tsp
- salt - 1/2 tsp
- ground vanilla beans - 3/4 tsp (or 1 tsp vanilla extract) see note
- eggs - 4
Place nectarine slices in a bowl with lemon juice and sugar and steep for ½ hour or up to 3 hours.
Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour 9x5x3-inch nonstick loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a beater attachment, beat margarine or oil and sugar on high until the mixture becomes fluffy and turns a pale yellow color. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add beaten margarine or butter, along with the ground vanilla beans or extract. Add 1 egg at a time, until incorporated.
Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan. Drain the juice from the nectarines and then arrange over the batter in the pan. Cover the fruit with the remaining batter. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream or garnish with pareve whipping cream and fresh nectarine slices, if desired.
Note: I use a product called ground vanilla beans to get the lovely vanilla flavor and scent into the cake. You can actually see the small black flecks in the picture. You can also scrape the inside of a fresh vanilla bean for the same effect, or, if all else fails, use vanilla extract. I buy the Ground Vanilla Beans online from Bakto flavorings. I highly recommend it.
Tip: I also made this in an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, which cuts into a nice size wedge. You can also add 1 cup of blueberries to the nectarine mixture.