Peaches almost always make me think of childhood. Late nights of my mom reading James and the Giant Peach to me could have something to do with that, but this kuchen has that same feel. It’s equal bits rustic and simple and decadent. Peaches are remarkable on their own right now, but coddling them in custard is genius. This will definitely appear on my table before peach season passes. -Kathy
My favorite things to cook are always the dishes that have some sentimental value or a particular memory attached to them. Food nourishes in many ways, so it comes as no surprise that people’s favorite foods are often their mom’s baked chicken or a birthday cake that grandma used to make. In my case, it is, without a doubt, my grandmother’s Grapenut Custard Pudding.
She would make it on all important occasions or if I had a cold and needed a little TLC (that and a big pot of chicken noodle soup.) To this day, it is one of my most favorite things. I make it whenever I need a treat or want to make something special for a friend. It’s comfort food, through and through.
When my grandmother passed away, I was lucky enough to inherit her manila accordian folder full of notes, clippings and handwritten recipes. Some are on scraps of notebook paper, some are on old monogrammed note pads, some from the kitchens of friends and relatives – all weathered, all precious, and all little relics in their own right.
I tried to organize them in a binder. I included all of the hand-written recipes and some of the more notable clippings. Some are familiar and I even remember eating them in my grandmother’s kitchen. Other’s aren’t so familiar but in a basic way, they document her life; summers spent in Massachusetts and winters in Florida, recipes from friends and neighbors.
The inspiration for this post came from a Sarasota-Herald Tribune recipe for Peach Kuchen. It’s a little bit of a different take on a kuchen, and it feels like a very homey, old- fashioned dessert. It’s simple but delicious. Maybe not the prettiest recipe in the binder, but definitely one that makes me happy every time.
Peaches are everywhere this time of year. They are so juicy and sweet. A local, in-season peach is tough to beat! And if you go to the farmer’s market, you can find them relatively cheap, about $2/pound. But if you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, try this Peach Kuchen. It’s rustic. But with butter, peaches and cream, it’s one of the more satisfying combos to hit a baking tin.
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp plus more to grease the tin
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 peaches, halved (you’ll have an extra half to snack on)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×9 baking tin. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix just until combined. Pour into the baking tin and using your fingers press into an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 18 minutes. Set aside to cool. Turn down the oven to 325.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Place the peach halves in three evenly spaced rows of three. Pour the custard mixture around the peaches. Bake until the peaches are cooked and the custard is set, about 45 minutes. The custard should only shake lightly in the center. If it seems loose give it another few minutes in the oven.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Best to serve the day it is made.
Photos styled and taken by Molly Shuster and Kristin Teig/Kristin Teig Photography
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