Saturday, October 11, 2014

Plumcott and peach skillet cake, with bourbon, whipped cream and maple syrup

From Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

It’s Fall, the bright leaves are scattering and we’re indoors already, thinking that warm, rich comforting desserts are what we want.  I love to make plum cakes and have brought my ‘regular’ one to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, but this weekend on the roll-up to Canadian Thanksgiving (Monday!) I decided to try something different. I’d found a nice recipe for peach cake with a maple bourbon sauce. Then next to the peaches were some lovely plump and juicy plumcots, all ready to go.  I decided to mix it up a bit. 

The recipe called for maple syrup and I’d just stocked up on a lovely, dark syrup from a local family producer. It also called for buttermilk and I had lots of buttermilk frozen in convenient ½ cup servings. I had a wonderful new vanilla extract to try. The recipe used a cast-iron skillet and I had one that was more than ready for an outing. It was meant to be!

In fact, I had everything except the bourbon. I knew I could make the cake without bourbon and serve it up with just maple syrup or just whipped cream or both, but I had to find out how this tasted. 

But back to my story: in our village, there was a selection of exactly one choice of bourbon. They tried to tell me that Tennessee whiskey was really the same (Please wade in on this issue, friends!). I stuck to my guns and left with the only bourbon. At home, I discovered that I only needed a quarter cup.

It was lovely! And it will be a dessert for Thanksgiving here as well.  Too good to waste. 
All to say, the combination of bourbon, dark maple syrup and Madagascar vanilla was a potent one.  And you can expect to find a few more recipes here using each of them over the next few months. 

Plumcott and peach skillet cake

All you need is:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 ripe peaches, sliced
2 ripe plumcots, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup maple syrup, medium or dark
1/4 cup bourbon
Whipping cream

All you do is:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and 1/2 cup sugar and beat at medium speed until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix gently a few times. Add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, and mix until just combined. Transfer batter to a well-greased cast-iron or ovenproof pan.

 Arrange peach and plumcot slices and sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining sugar. 


Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is set and edges are brown. Don’t over

bake or it will be dry.  

Serve warm or cool, but warm is really great!

Meanwhile, in a saucepan on the stove top, heat your maple syrup. I cooked it for a while to thicken it, although it's still fairly runny. Remove from heat and add the elusive bourbon. Bring back to a simmer and cook for a minute or two. 

Serve with whipped cream and syrup!  Or by all by itself.  

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini. They like desserts.

Victoria and MJ  have lots to give thanks for this year, including good food and this dessert.  

We're thankful that we are all well again. We're thankful we have access to great food, family and terrific friends. We are grateful that Victoria Abbott has had a good year. The Wolfe Widow is off to a roaring start and that there will be two more Book Collector mysteries.  

We are thankful for the joy our pets bring us.


We can sit back and enjoy our meal!   

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  1. Happy Thanksgiving friends! We're thankful for your cheerful presence on this blog! xoxo

    ps I haven't had bourbon since I overdid it as a teenager, but I don't think it's the same as whiskey...

    1. Thanks so much, Lucy/Roberta! We're thankful that we are part of it.

      I agree about bourbon! Quite a different flavor. We don't have a Canadian equivalent to bourbon, but it adds something to cooking for sure.



  2. Happy Thanksgiving! And enjoy the yummy-sounding cake.

    Tennessee whiskey and Kentucky bourbon are like the difference between Champagne made in France and sparkling wine made elsewhere; they get dibs on the name.

    1. Karen, that's a great comparison! I did taste it and I'd say it's completely different.

      Thanks for coming by and we will enjoy the cake.



  3. MJ - Oh, my mouth is watering for that gorgeous skillet cake! Beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and all our Canadian readers and followers. Given that I grew up with Italian aunts who loved soaking cake in rum, I'm prone to think nothing says celebration like spirits in a cake. And this will do the trick very nicely indeed. And I love to cook with bourbon, too--a little sweeter and more complex than a typical domestic whiskey (not as good as a fine Scotch but not as expensive, either)!

    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks, Cleo. After a day of hard work closing the cottage, I'm about to have a bit of that bourbon right now! XO


  4. This looks so delicious! You make the best desserts. I want to live next door...

    1. I only make them for family and friends get togethers (and then put em up on MLK), Peg, because I'm usually on a diet. BUT then I eat them. However, if you did live next door, we could really have fun. So come on up!


  5. Fruit, bourbon, maple syrup, and cake to hold them together? Yup. That sounds just about perfect.
    You help us all be full of thanksgiving.
    And The Wolfe Widow is wonderful! "She flies through the air with the greatest of ease!" If you've read the book, you get the reference.