IMG_0510The thirty-first annual Parker County Peach Festival was held on July 11, 2015 in Weatherford, TX. If you are in the DFW area, it is definitely worth the drive. Here are some highlights from this year’s festivities (and a blue-ribbon recipe).

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And my blue-ribbon entry to the food competition

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Peach Spice Cake with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting and Spiced Pecans

Peach Spice Cake

Makes 2 10” round cakes

 1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3 cup cake flour

4 tsp baking powder

½ cup milk

¾ cup peach nectar

2 tbsp simple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

1/3 cup peach preserves

Peach Puree (recipe to follow)

To make cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Then, add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg fully before adding the next. Add all of the peach puree (about 1 cup) to the batter and mix. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk together. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla, and ½ cup peach nectar. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the batter in three parts. Mix until smooth. Split cake batter into two 10” round, greased cake pans. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

After cakes have cooled, assemble a layer cake by putting a dollop of frosting (recipe to follow) on the cake plate to secure bottom layer. Poke holes in the cake with a metal skewer. Mix ¼ cup peach nectar and simple syrup together in a measuring cup. Pour half over bottom layer. Pipe a thick ring of frosting around the top of the bottom layer. Spread peach preserves inside circle. Add top layer. Repeat process of poking holes and pouring peach nectar mixture over the top layer. Frost and decorate as desired.

Peach Puree

1 lb frozen peach slices

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1.5 oz spiced rum

1 tbsp vanilla

pinch of salt

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and reduce mixture by half.

Peach Cream Cheese Frosting

 ½ cup butter

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup peach nectar

1 tbsp vanilla

1 ½ lb powdered sugar

 Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add 2 cups sugar, peach nectar, and vanilla. Add the rest of the sugar 1 cup at a time, incorporating each addition fully before adding the next. When all sugar is added, whip frosting for 2 minutes.

Spiced Pecans

1 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup water

1 tbsp light corn syrup

3 cups pecans

Combine everything but the nuts into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the candy reaches soft ball stage (approximately 240 F on a candy thermometer). Stir in nuts and spread on wax paper to cool.

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