Though I have made [and loved] the classic pineapple upside down cake on more than one occasion, it never really occurred to me that I could actually use any other fruit… until I chanced upon this lovely apricot cake recipe on SusanEatsLondon.com. This delicate stone fruit simultaneously reminds me of a velvety peach and a tangy plum and works well in situations where it gets caramelized. Apricot jam is probably the best example of this wonderful pairing so you can almost imagine this as eating chunky apricot jam on a layer of rich butter cake. Serve it with a cloud of fresh cream and toasted almonds and you will find yourself slowly ascending towards dessert heaven.

APRICOT UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake

10-12 ripe apricots, halved

125g unsalted butter

3 eggs, separated

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Zest of 1/2 lemon

130g all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons yogurt

For the Caramel Topping

100g unsalted butter

75g caster sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180oC. Generously butter a deep cake pan and line its base with apricots, cut side down.

  • Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and set this mixture aside.

  • In another bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy, and then beat in egg yolks.

  • In a third bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites until they are foamy. Gradually add the white sugar.

  • Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. For the caramel use a heavy, non-stick skillet.

  • Melt the butter, sugar, and lemon juice over medium-low heat till it starts bubbling. Add vanilla extract.

  • Continue to simmer, stirring gently with a wooden spoon, till caramel has thickened and turned golden.

  • Pour caramel over apricots. Now, fold the dry ingredients of the cake into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.

  • Stir in yogurt. Mix in about a third of the egg whites to lighten batter, and then carefully fold in the rest.

  • Try not to over-mix. Spread this over the caramel covered apricots, and bake it for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean or the center of the cake feels springy.

  • Cool in the pan for three to five minutes, then cover with a serving plate and flip. Makes 10-12 servings.

Apricot Caramel Upside-Down Cake