Apricots and Oven Testing

During the trip to the market last week I also bought a basket of apricots. The trouble with buying a basket of one thing is, with only two people around, typically whatever it is starts to go bad before it's gone. This was the unfortunate case with my lovely apricots. They were juicy and firm and delicious, but they were ripe and ready and we couldn't eat them fast enough. 

Step in stage right, fresh fruit cakes. I'm not quite sure the history of upside-down cakes but whoever masterminded them hopefully realized how incredibly convenient they are. Got too much fruit but don't want to make a pie crust or crumble? Well then, make a lazy coffee cake. 

Also, more convenience, this afforded a perfect opportunity to test my new oven! Double win!

I got this recipe from my Grandmother's 1932 General Foods cookbook. It may be almost a century old but it still makes a cake that tastes amazing!

Apricot Upside-down Cake

12 small apricots, blanched, skinned and sliced

4 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
(1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional)

1 1/4 cup flour (cake flour, if you have it!)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 milk
1 tsp vanilla

8X8X2 inch baking pan (Or a 9 inch circlular pan.)

  1. To blanch apricots: ash apricots. Set a pot of water to boil. Also, set out a bowl of ice water. After the water is boiling, immerse apricots in the boiling water for no more than 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, scoop them out and place them immediately into the ice water bowl. Let them cool completely.
    To skin apricots: After the fruit is cooled, using your hands, peel off the skins of the apricots. They should come off easily. (Note: if the apricot isn't ripe, the skin will not loosen.) 
    To slice apricots: With a sharp knife, make a slit around the centre of the apricot, all the way around. Remove the pit. Slice up the rest of the apricot flesh. 
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add brown sugar. Mix thoroughly. Pour sugar mixture into the bottom of your baking pan. Arrange the sliced apricots on top of the sugar mixture in the baking pan. Set aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350'F.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
  5. In an electric mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until butter is light and fluffy. (It will literally change colour. From butter yellow to a light white yellow.)
  6. Add pre-beaten egg. Stir. 
  7. Now combine flour and milk in with the sugar/egg mixture, alternating milk and flour mixtures. Mix each part until smooth before adding the next part. 
  8. Stir in vanilla. 
  9. Pour cake batter on top of apricots in the baking pan. Smooth the top so all the apricots are covered. I found it easier to carefully scoop batter rather than spreading it around. 
  10. Bake for ~50 minutes or until a fork inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. 
  11. After it's done baking, let cool for an hour before you flip it out onto a serving platter. Serve warm or let cool completely and top with icing sugar. 

I definitely was too impatient to wait for it to cool enough and as a result most of the syrup leak to the bottom of the cake, making it stick to the serving plate it was on. Oh well. Still tasted amazing! I even froze some of it so we'll see if it keeps well. I was hoping to save it for a while... but a have a cake hankering just writing this post. Haha. Also my oven has passed it's test with flying colours. It seems to bake evenly and keep it's temperature very well. Thank you kitchen gods!



The Half-Assed Hobbyist