I recommend using a 5- or 6-quart oval slow cooker for this recipe. You may cut the recipe in half for a smaller slow cooker. When choosing peaches, make sure they are not overly ripe as this can lead to a soggy cake. Choose peaches that are firm but not hard. You may use frozen peaches if fresh ones are not available where you live, although be sure to drain them well after defrosting.
- Line the slow cooker with a large sheet of parchment paper, letting the ends reach over the rim and pushing the paper firmly into the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Spray the parchment paper well with cooking spray. Cut any excess parchment paper off the top.
- In a large bowl, combine the peaches and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup of butter. Then stir in the brown sugar until combined, about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the slow cooker and spread evenly over the bottom.
- Next, spoon the peach mixture on top of the butter-and-sugar combination. Then sprinkle the pecans over the peach mixture. Do not stir.
- In a medium-sized bowl, use a mixer to cream together white sugar, shortening, and the remaining two tablespoons of softened butter. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix in. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the half and half to the creamed sugar mixture. Mix well and spoon on top of the peach layer, spreading the mixture a bit but not mixing it in. Keep everything layered.
- Place several layers of dish towels or paper towels over the slow cooker and replace the lid. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a cake tester or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Then remove the lid to the slow cooker and cook an additional 15-20 minutes for the top to form a soft crust.
- Turn off the slow cooker and let the cake cool slightly. Then carefully lift the cake from the slow cooker using the long ends of the parchment paper and place it on a large dinner plate or serving platter. Place another plate on top. Holding both plates, carefully flip the cake over and remove the parchment paper. Slice the cake and serve topped with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Recipe by Kendra Bailey Morris