Patty cake, Patty cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can! It's funny what stirs up memories for some of us. As a toddler, this nursery rhyme was recited for hours (it seemed) along with "this little piggy". My dad's mother, Emma, used to teach me these verses as I sat on her small antique stool at her house. She lived in a modest craftsman style home with lace doilies on all the armchairs and couches. I still have some of her crocheted doily gifts she made for me! She would always have some kind of treat waiting for us on our visits. Isn't that part of what grandmothers do? Whether it was her snicker doodle cookies, or peach dumplings, it sang "comfort" to me.
I saw this recipe years ago, possibly in Sunset or Better Home and Gardens magazine and could not wait to experiment with it and make it my own. I've made different variations of it, mostly using fresh peaches or pears. This time I used canned pears, oh no! The result is always good and it has the consistency of the peach dumplings my grandma made. So, year after year and any time of year, I bake this for my family. The only drawback is that it doesn't last very long!
2 cans of peaches or pears, drained and sliced. Set aside half of the sliced and chop the remainder. If using fresh, peel, core and slice about 3 fruits.
1 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 c flour
1 T cinnamon
a sprinkle of baker's sugar or regular (for topping)
1 T chopped pecans, optional (for topping)
Using a 9 inch round pan, butter and flour it. In a bowl blend sugar, eggs, milk and salt with a mixer. Add the flour, mix, and fold in half of the chopped peaches or pears. Arrange the sliced pears on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and top with nuts. Dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. Cool and serve with powdered sugar, ice cream or just plain. Enjoy!