- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In the garden, at the pool, on the tennis court, visiting with family. I can think of many ways to spend my Labor Day, and they don’t involve cooking.

Old-timers in the South had it right. They would cook the day before a holiday, making potato salad and frying chicken so that on the holiday they could put their feet up and enjoy visiting with family and friends.

Cold suppers in hot weather were the norm.

So it should be this year: a cold supper for Labor Day that you assemble the day before or piece together with the help of friends and takeout.

Think cold marinated vegetable salads, platters of roasted chicken or smoked fish, sliced fresh bread, nice cheeses, and a simple dessert such as fresh peach pecan kuchen.

When summer peaches are plentiful and you’re searching for yet another way to enjoy them, try this recipe.

Be sure to drain those fresh, fragrant peaches well (when cut, they will exude plenty of juice) or the batter will be a bit heavier and will not bake up crisp on the bottom. Here cake mix takes on another guise, and the peaches and pecans are just the right addition.

Five sweet time-shaving ideas for summer peaches

• Put sliced peaches, sugar to taste, a tablespoon of flour and dots of butter in a two-crust pie and bake in a pie pan at 350 degrees until the juices bubble up from the peaches and the crust has browned.

• Slice well-drained peaches onto a thin sheet of frozen puff pastry, sprinkle with sugar to taste and dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees until the pastry puffs up around the peaches and browns well.

• Place sliced peaches in a glass baking dish, cover with sugar to taste and dots of butter, and top with frozen biscuits. Sprinkle biscuits with sugar and bake at 400 degrees until the biscuits brown nicely on top and are cooked.

• Slice ripe peaches onto vanilla ice cream. Crumble macaroons, vanilla wafers or your choice of cookie over the top, then serve.

• Place sliced peaches in a blender and puree. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt and blend into a smooth and refreshing milkshake. Pour and serve.

Fresh peach pecan kuchen

The preparation time is 30 minutes, and the baking time is 30 to 32 minutes.

Softened butter for greasing the pan

1 18.25-ounce package plain yellow cake mix

1 cup sour cream

10 tablespoons (11/4 sticks) butter, melted, divided

1 large egg

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups ripe fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4-inch thick (1½ pounds or from 4 large peaches)

½ cup chopped pecans

Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with softened butter. Set the pan aside.

Place cake mix, sour cream, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and egg in a large mixing bowl.

Blend with an electric mixer on low speed just until mixture comes together in a thick dough, 1 minute.

Using your fingertips, press dough evenly over bottom of pan so that it reaches sides of pan. Place pan on center rack of preheated 350-degree oven. Bake cake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Remove pan from oven but leave oven on.

Arrange peach slices in rows across top of warm cake. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over peaches. Drizzle remaining 6 tablespoons melted butter over sugar mixture. Top with chopped pecans.

Return pan to oven and bake cake until it looks golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.

Slice warm cake into pieces and, using a metal spatula, remove them from pan to a serving platter. Serve while still a little warm.

Store cake, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months.

Before serving, open foil and reheat kuchen in a preheated 300-degree oven until warmed through.

Makes 20 servings.

Share cooking tips, ask questions and access Anne Byrn’s free online newsletter at www.dinnerdoc.com.


Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide