If peaches are your favorite stone fruit, try this old-fashioned version of Tennessee peach pudding. It’s what I like to call a “magic” recipe; you start with a few ordinary ingredients, and a mixture that looks like you’ve made a dreadful mistake. But once baked, there’s a transformation that results in a fruit-studded cake layer and a sweet bourbon-spiked sauce.
Similar to that other old-fashioned dessert favorite, hot fudge chocolate pudding cake, this cake batter gets covered with a hot water mixture, and when baked it becomes a cake layer with a luscious sauce (and peaches). You might think that there is not enough batter, and it will seem too thick, until you fold in the sliced fruit. Then, when you pour the boiling water and sugar mixture over the cake layer, you will question the directions of the recipe again. Suddenly the thick batter is soupy and thin. But don’t worry; put the dish in the oven and watch as the cake layer rises to a golden topping and the liquid reduces to a syrupy sauce.
All the while, the peach slices are cooking to a sweet jammy consistency. When the pudding has cooled slightly, you can spoon it onto serving plates and top it with a scoop of ice cream. It’s an easy to make alternative to peach cobbler or pie.
Be sure to use a baking dish deep enough to hold the batter and the liquid mixture. It will bubble up as it bakes, so place the dish on a baking sheet to avoid a messy oven floor. Use your favorite, fresh, ripe peaches and prepare to enjoy a unique and delicious summer fruit dessert.
Old-Fashioned Peach Pudding
A peach-filled batter is doused with a bourbon-spiked syrup and bakes into a luscious cake, with a sweet sauce. It's a quick and easy alternative to peach cobbler or pie.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pie spice (I use Penzey's, but you can subsitute cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 3 large peaches, no need to peel them)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup Bourbon
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon pie spice, or nutmeg
- Vanilla ice cream, or light cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pie spice. Stir in the milk to make a thick batter. Fold in the peach slices until they are evenly coated with the cake batter. Spread the batter into a buttered 8-inch square baking dish, or ceramic dish of equivalent capacity.
Combine the water, bourbon, sugars, butter, and the 1/4 teaspoon pie spice in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, until the sugars dissolve. Pour the mixture evenly over the peach batter. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan, and place in the preheated oven. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges of the dish. A tester inserted into the cake topping should come out clean. This will take 40 to 50 minutes. Allow the pudding to cool somewhat, them scoop onto plates and serve with ice cream or light cream. Enjoy!
You can find the original recipe here. If you enjoy warm spices for baking try Penzey's pie spice. It's a delicious combination of cinnamon, vanilla sugar, mace, ginger, nutmeg, anise seed, and clove. If you're not fortunate enough to have a Penzey's shop in your neighborhood, you can order at their website.