30 June 2022

Apricot Upside-Down Cake

Apricot Upside-Down Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

Apricot upside-down cake, especially this one made with almond meal (also called almond flour or, in the UK, ground almonds) and just a dash of almond extract, is the perfect midsummer dessert. If you don't eat almonds, simply replace the almond meal with an equal measure of flour and leave out the almond extract. 

Apricots and almonds have an affinity for each other, so unless you're allergic to almonds I hope you'll try it. Just don't increase the amount of almond extract as it can be quite overpowering. As you know, I appreciate subtlety rather than being slapped in the face by heavy-handed flavors. 

As I poured the batter into the pan, I was regretting putting "plus 2 tablespoons milk," thinking the cake was going to be too light to support the apricots. I needn't have worried. The cake didn't collapse even a smidge when I turned it upside down and lifted the pan away. 

Summer fruit is just about the only thing I like about summer! How about you? I hope you're having a super summer!

Apricot Upside-Down Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Apricot Upside-Down Cake 

(Makes one 8-inch/20 cm cake, 8 servings) 

3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces/43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
6 packed tablespoons (2.625 ounces/74 grams) dark brown sugar
10 smallish apricots, halved and pitted
3/4 dip-and-sweep cup (3.75 ounces/106 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 packed cup (1.75 ounces/51 grams) almond meal or finely ground almonds
2/3 cup (4.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons non-GMO baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces/148 ml) milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg, room temperature 

Note: For a gluten-free cake, replace 3/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. 

1 Halve and pit the apricots. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Spray the sides and bottom of a 2-inch deep 8-inch round cake pan with vegetable spray, line bottom with a round of parchment paper, and pour the melted butter in the pan. Add the brown sugar to the butter and blend. Starting at outer edge, arrange apricots, cut side down, in single layer in bottom of pan and press lightly to make them stick; set aside.

2 In large mixing bowl, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and mace; mix on low speed for 1 minute to "sift.". Add the softened butter; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add milk and extracts; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add the egg; mix 1 1/2 minutes longer. 

3 Spread the batter carefully over the apricots with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand for just 3 minutes, loosen edges with knife and invert onto a platter. Carefully peel off parchment paper. Let cool about 45 minutes, or up to several hours, before serving slightly warm or at room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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