Friday, July 1, 2011

Fresh Apricot Upside Down Cake

I know it's the 4th of July Holiday this weekend but I couldn't resist these beautiful apricots in my local farm market. They were calling me! And I just had to respond. So no blueberry strawberry- red, white and blue kind of dessert this hoilday. Nope. Just a delicious fresh apricot upside down cake. Which, by the way, is so so good!

I have to say I've never really given the poor fresh apricot much attention before. I love them dried and I make dried apricot almond scones almost every week, but fresh? Never. Eaten out of hand, they don't do much for me but once baked, they take on a sweet lovely flavor.

Upside down cakes are so fun. And this one is baked in a cast iron skillet so you just melt the butter, add some brown sugar and place the apricots over top. Then spoon the batter over all that and bake it in the skillet.

So please, give this cake a try. It got rave reviews on so I knew it would be a winner. I took note of the remarks about too much butter and sugar for the topping so I cut down the amounts by half and I'm glad I did. This revised amount is perfect.

This cake could be made with some other stone fruits, too. Nectarines or plums, perhaps?

And if you don't own a cast iron skillet yet, you need to buy one! They're the original non stick skillet.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, it looks so pretty, it's almost a shame to invert it...

But then...

Look how pretty the other side is, too!

And don't say I didn't warn you. Once the cake cools down a little...good luck resisting cutting yourself a nice big slice.
But hey, you deserve it, right? After all, you did all the work! Don't forget a big dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the top!

Fresh Apricot Upside Down Cake ( adapted from

(The recipe includes my revisions)

1/2 stick (2 ozs.) unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
8-10 small apricots, halved and pitted, lengthwise
1 3/4 cups ( 8.3 ozs.) AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick (4 ozs.) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 large eggs, room temp. for 30 minutes
3/4 cup well shaken buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375.
1. Heat butter in the skillet til the foam subsides.
2. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Cook, undisturbed for 3 minutes.
Not all the sugar will be melted.
3. Remove from heat and arrange the apricot halves, cut side down in the skillet, placing them close together.
1. Sift or whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and both extracts on medium speed til pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat til mixture is creamy and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes.
4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating woth the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat til just combined.
5. Gently spoon the batter evenly over the apricots and spread evenly.
6. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
7. Immediately invert cake onto a large plate.
The cake is best served slightly warm or room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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