I made this cake whilst on holiday in France. We had bought an abundance of ripe, fresh apricots from the market in the village and despite eating quite a quantity of them, in the hot weather, they soon became so ripe that they were starting to leech their juices. Something had to be done to use them up quickly and this wonderful apricot cake was the result.
Baking the apricots really intensified their already sweet fragrant flavour. They looked so vibrant and glossy studded into the cake and surrounded by pools of their sweet buttery juices. The vanilla scented cake has quite a close texture but is very light and soft. This also meant it absorbed all the apricots excess juices, allowing the flavours to mingle together brilliantly. This cake is so simple and yet utterly delicious, especially when served with a big blob of crème fraiche. I think this may in fact be the best cake I have eaten all year. I bet it would be equally good with plumbs in the autumn time.
Fresh Apricot Upside-Down Cake
(Recipe from My Cool Desserts blog)
For the topping
150g caster sugar
8 – 9 fresh apricots
For the cake
1½ tsp vanilla
115g self raising flour
140g caster sugar
Heat the oven to 170C. Grease and flour a 9inch circular spring-form cake tin.
Cut the apricots in half, remove the stone and set to one side.
To make the topping, place the sugar and water in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for 5-8 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. As soon as it’s melted in, pour the golden syrup mixture into the base of the tin. (If you stir for too long then mixture can seize up and go grainy. Don’t worry if this happens, spoon it into the tin anyway and it will dissolve again during baking.)
Add the halved apricots onto op the syrup, cut size down.
To make the cake, put the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Beat with an electric whisk for around 10 minutes until thick, pale and creamy.
Sift over the flour and fold it in gently.
Melt the butter and stir into the cake mix (It will be quite runny as this stage).
Pour the batter over the top of the apricots and place in the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes.
It should be golden brown and top and a skewer inserted should come out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before placing a large plate over the top of the tin and quickly turning out.
The apricots syrups juices will drizzle themselves down the sides of the cake.
Serve cold or slightly warm with cream or crème fraiche.