Sunday, August 5, 2012

Apricot Upside-Down Cake

Overcoming the I-don't-have-a-cherry-pitter problem widens the dessert possibilities a little bit. Unlike the clafoutis, this only requires 12 cherries total, which took about 2 minutes to pit.

Apricot Upside-Down Cake
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
6 small apricots (~12 oz.), quartered
12 whole pitted fresh cherries
1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk, room temperature

Heat oven to 375°F.

Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Arrange 4 apricot quarters in row down one side of dish, evenly spaced. Place 1 cherry in arc of each apricot quarter. Make a second row of apricots and cherries in center, turning apricots opposite way. Repeat with a row down the other side. Gently press on apricots to flatten slightly.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.

Beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter in medium bowl at medium speed 1 minute or until creamy.

Add sugar; beat 1 minute or until fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

At low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with milk until just blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon over fruit; spread gently.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is deep golden brown and center is firm to the touch. Cool in dish on wire rack 10 minutes.

I realized when looking at the baked cake that it looked very similar to the Saucy Strawberry-Raspberry Cake, just browner.

Carefully turn cake upside-down on extra-large serving plate to accumulate excess juices. Remove baking dish; cool completely.

I used a regular dinner plate, planning to mop up excess juices. Using hard apricots probably helped in avoiding that problem.

Yum! I much prefer apricots baked in a cake rather than eating them raw. Coupled with cherries, apricots are even better. The cake portion of this cake (did that make sense?) tasted very much like the Saucy Strawberry-Raspberry Cake, which isn't surprising considering they are prepared with almost the same ingredients and technique.

The middle of the cake seemed a little undercooked. The center seemed firm to the touch and the cake was certainly a deep golden brown when I took it out of the oven. Maybe a toothpick test is called for should I do this again. Or all of the juices were absorbed in the cake because I didn't bother flipping it onto the plate until 3 hours after the 10 minute cooling time. Underdone or not, none of this cake went to waste. The buttery sweet sugar coupled with the tart fruit was fantastic.

  • unsalted butter: $0.60
  • light brown sugar: $0.39
  • apricots: $1.53
  • cherries: $0.12
  • all-purpose flour: $0.32
  • 3/4 c sugar: $0.16
  • egg: $0.29
  • vanilla extract: $0.08
  • milk: $0.23
Total: $3.72 or $0.47 for each of eight servings.