[You can find the recipe to this cake right here.]
Okay you guys, it has been HOT. Way too hot. As in, way too hot to bake. I cannot stand the heat and therefore, I have been out of the kitchen. I made this cake a couple weeks ago and have not made a thing since. So bear with me these next couple of months, as posting will be light. But for now, Apricot Cherry Upside-Down Cake.
This cake is supposed to be baked in an 8″ circular cake pan with 3″ sides. All my circular pans have standard 2″ sides and I didn’t want to special-order a cake pan for this one recipe. So instead, I used an angel food cake pan that has super high sides, ensuring the cake would not overflow. Downside, of course, is that it creates a hole in the middle of the cake. Everything else I did was according to the recipe.
You line the bottom with parchment paper. I cut out a circle the size of the cake pan and then cut four slits half-way from the inside-out to allow the paper to fit over the center tube of the pan. I then buttered the pan and paper and evenly pressed a sugar/butter mixture to the bottom. This will create a sugary coating for the fruit.
Apricots are washed, halved, and pitted. Same story for the cherries, but you pit them before you halve them.
The fruit is then arranged on the bottom of the cake pan.
A light cake batter is made with cornmeal, of all things, and it’s really wonderful.
Crumbled almond paste also goes in the cake batter. Lots of unique flavors and textures going on here!
I feel like this blog already has enough shots of cake ingredients in the mixer – I’ll skip that part of the process and get to the final steps. The batter is poured on top of the fruit and smoothed before going in the oven to bake.
The oven does the rest. The cake baked up to a really fragrant (almonds), dense, moist, golden finish. The fruit let off a lot of moisture, but this was almost entirely absorbed by the cake without it getting soggy.
I wasn’t 100% impressed with the look of the final cake – using the called-for circular cake pan instead of an angel food cake pan would have improved the look a lot (see the photo in the link I posted above). I also wish the fruit would have kept its shape more but there’s no real way around that, I suppose, unless you use fruit that is much less ripe. It just looks weird and messy to me.
But as for the important part – how it tasted – well, it was pretty much freaking phenomenal. A great summer dessert – for as dense as the cake is, it is not super sweet and has a light, summery flavor. The cornmeal adds a great chewiness and the almond paste helps set off the super-concentrated sweetness of the baked apricots and cherries.
Let it cool to the point where it’s still warm enough to just melt ice cream and then slice it up, top it with some vanilla, and dig in. It’s a lot like bread pudding – so moist and delicious!