If you are like me and keep buying irrestibily good looking fruit and then wonder what to do with it, then this recipe is for you. I originally found this Dan Lepard recipe for an apricot tart quite interesting. However, when I finally got down to using up some lovely apricots I got from the supermarket, I decided to make a cake instead.
I would change just one thing if I were to make it again – I’d use a slightly bigger cake tin. The 20-inch tin I used made the cake thicker than I wanted it to be and hence, it was difficult to cut a truly modest slice. Not a bad thing however if you’re in the mood for some indulgence.
I first poured the cake batter into a really large 26-28cm cake tin and then realised it was too big for the job and then muttering under my breath, somehow transfered the batter, baking paper and all to a smaller tin which then made the cake too thick (as it rises during baking). It was good that the rest of the family was out for the morning and I was on my own so there was no one around to face my irritation. It only got worse when I discovered later that some of the batter had leaked through and effectively sealed the upper part of the tin to the base making it quite a task to get the cake out.
Phew! Anyway, moral of the story – have a medium sized cake tin on hand for most regular cake recipes and don’t sweat it if things start going awry (easier said than done!).
After managing to get the cake out in one piece, I did recover soon enough to enjoy a nice slice with everybody else with afternoon coffee.
Irrespective of cake tin sizes, this cake is a great way of using up any summer stone fruit you have lying around be it peaches, plums or even nectarines. So go on and give it a try.
Apricot Almond Cake
about 6-8 apricots
200g sugar + an extra 2tbsp
3 medium eggs
a few drops of vanilla extract
150g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
a few almond slices
Preheat the oven to 180C (conventional). Grease and line a 20 or 24cm springform cake tin and set aside.
Slice the apricots into halves. Remove the pits and place the halves in a bowl. Sprinkle the 2tbsp of sugar over the fruit and set aside to soften while you prepare the batter. You may also add a splash of alcohol or liquer to add extra flavour. I added some rum at this stage.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
Sieve together the flour and ground almonds. Fold this through the sugar-butter mixture and mix well. If the batter looks too thick, you can add a few splashes of milk to get it to a thinner consistency.
Transfer the batter to the cake tin. Arrange the apricot halves on the surface of the cake batter in concentric circles. Sprinkle the almond slices over the top.
Place the tin in the oven and bake for an hour or until cooked through. If the cake’s browning too quickly, cover the top of the tin loosely with a sheet of aluminium foil.
Remove tin from oven and let it cool on a wire rack before taking the cake out.
Serve generous slices warm or cool and enjoy it with a cup of coffee or as dessert with some whipped cream on the side if you like.