Recently while working on a recipe for a peach tart I came across a slightly different method for peeling peaches. Peaches are typically peeled by dropping them in boiling water and then into ice water. This method is effective for removing the skins, but the peaches become very slippery this way and are difficult to work with. Also, there always seems to be water everywhere—on the counter, running down your arms, etc. It really makes a big mess. The "new" method seems to be more effective and it is not messy at all—I will never go back to the other way.
To begin, cut a slash in the bottom of each peach. Place the peaches in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the peaches and let them sit for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a towel and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle (a minute or two). Peel the peaches as for the other method, using your thumb and a paring knife. The peaches will have almost steamed themselves dry as they cool on the towels, and there will not be all the sloshing, slippery, cold water to deal with. Even better, the peeled peaches aren't nearly as slick when they haven't been submerged in cold water.
When I made my cake I made a spiral pattern with sliced peaches on top of the cake, but since the peaches are covered pretty thoroughly by streusel, you could just cut the peaches in 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks and scatter them evenly over the cake.
Peach Streusel Coffeecake
1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/4 t. salt
8 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to blend. Add the butter as you stir with a fork or rubber spatula. Squeeze the mixture into clumps. Set aside.
1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour (7 oz.)
¾ t. salt
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
3 medium ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 c. toasted pecans, coarsely broken
Butter a 10- by 2-inch round cake pan (you could use a 9- by 9- by 2-inch square pan if you prefer). Line the pan with parchment and butter the parchment. Flour the pan, tapping out the excess, and set aside.
Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.