Tahoe Truckee recipe: Have apricot cake, will travel
June 2, 2011
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Theyand#8217;re back. Ay-pricots, a-pricots, no matter how you say it, they are finally here and not just here, but ripe and ready to enjoy. Not like the peaches, which will keep faking you out for a couple weeks, looking good to go, but really not yet sweet enough. Coinciding with the arrival of stone fruits (thatand#8217;s what they are called, due to the large pits or and#8220;stonesand#8221; nothing to do with Kidney ailment of same name) is the lull in the formal holiday season.
I say and#8220;formaland#8221; because June marks the start of the warm weather holiday Potluck marathon and you had better be prepared. This Apricot Almond Upside-Down Cake meets all the BYO requirements. First of all, name aside, anyway you slice it is full of tangy, sweet flavor, and is light and juicy. I would almost call it refreshing, but thatand#8217;s pushing it for a cake. Secondly, it travels well. No frosting to deal with (I have seen people prop up the foil cover with toothpicks for undisturbed icing transport), no re-heat, and no Tupperware to try and re-claim and the end of the gathering. Seriously, there have been cases in small claims court over re-sealable rubber cake pans. I think its Section T10355 Tupper Wars.
Anyway, with this cake you just invert it onto a plate, cover with Saran Wrap and await your call to action. No refrigeration necessary. I often buy pretty mismatched plates from the thrift store for less than a dollar to use for potlucks or Christmas baked gifts so you can leave them behind. Tip: Do not get attached to the thrift store plates. That defeats the purpose.
1/3-cup light brown sugar
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8 apricots, halved, seed (stone) removed
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
9 Tbls. unsalted butter at room temperature plus a little more for the pan
6 ounces almond paste (found in the baking aisle)
3 large eggs
Grated zest of one orange
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Whipped cream, preferably fresh
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter, 2-inch deep round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan, patting it into a thin layer. Arrange the apricot halves cut side down on brown sugar. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add the almond paste a little at a time until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Beat in the orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts. On low, add the dry ingredients until lightly blended. Pour batter over the apricots, spreading evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch, and cake pulls away from the side of the pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, then invert onto large plate or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream, prepared per instructions on carton heavy whipping cream.
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