I make a moist and somewhat sticky toasted coconut poundcake that's a perfect background to the bounty of summer fruits and berries , but also just as delightful on its own for a summer picnic or an evening cookout. I've found that if you lightly toast the slices, they are even more wonderful, especially with a fresh fruit sauce. Here, I've sliced some fresh peaches, squeezed a little fresh lemon juice in with them, and briefly cooked. I finished with a hefty drizzle of wildflower honey. But, as I said before, with a glass of lemonade or milk, just plain, it's really, really good. I often make this for birthday parties, and just plop a little bouquet of flowers in a tiny glass vase and drop it in the hole in the middle. Pretty, and easy.
I make this in a Bundt pan , but if you decide to make it otherwise, let me know how it came out - I've been wondering what other shapes might work.
Grease a medium sized Bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 325F.
You will need:
1 1/4 sticks softened, unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup sugar for the egg whites
zest of one lemon
1-2 T. fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut, toasted briefly in a toaster oven
3/4 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
For the sauce:
3 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
squeeze of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 t. red currant jelly
about a tablespoon honey
3 T. salted, toasted and chopped almonds ( optional)
In a mixer bowl, whip egg whites until stiff, gradually adding the 1/4 cup of sugar. Scoop into a bowl and set aside ( you'll fold them into the batter at the very end - so don't forget them!)
Toast coconut in toaster oven until barely golden. Set aside.
In the same mixing bowl you used for the egg whites ( no need to wash), cream the butter and add 1 1/4 cups sugar gradually. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until somewhat fluffy.
Alternating, add flour and warm milk, then the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut, and salt, and mix briefly. Fold in the gg whites.
Scrape batter into the Bundt pan, distributing it evenly, and smoothing the top with a spatula. Place in oven and bake for one hour.
When done, remove pan to cooling rack for a half hour. Using a sharp knife, loosen all around the edges, including the inner tube part. Wait another 15 minutes, then turn upside down on another rack and whack with a heavy rolling pin all around the Bundt pan. It should fall out. If it doesn't, just do it again.
Make the peach sauce and drizzle on, or serve simply on its own. To serve with a bouquet, go out to the garden and gather a small tussie-mussie ( a small bouquet of flowers and herbs) . Fill a small glass vase with water, making sure it fits in the center hole of the cake. Drop the bouquet in, and serve.
To serve toasted, simply place slices briefly in a toaster oven, toast, and serve.
Happy summer picnic!