Friday, May 28, 2010

Apricot Nectarine Buckle

Tea cake + fruit= must make cake for me. I love the idea of baking with fresh seasonal fruit and there were some bruised apricots and nectarines that needed to be used. I'd been searching and searching for yeasted kuchen type cakes but I gave up that idea for now. Ill return to that eventually. There's a whole crop of new baking books coming out, with a couple specifically focused on fresh fruit desserts. I cant wait to get my hands on a copy of those. Birthday's coming up.... In any case, since I was baking a cake to bring to my brother's for Shabbat, I decided to whip this up while I was at it. (If you havent noticed with me yet, once I start baking, I cant stop. Really. I made this in addition to shortbread, which you'll hear about it, the banana streusel snack cake, and peanut butter bars....) Back to the cake. This cake which I adapted from Williams-Sonoma was so easy. The cake, studded with apricots and nectarines and topped with a sprinkling of sugar is a cross between shortbread and cake. It's called a buckle because the fruit is placed on top of the batter and pressed in. The batter then bakes up and around the fruit giving it a kind of buckled appearance. I cant even tell you how fast this disappeared. Once again, I was skeptical about fresh fruit in a cake because sometimes people really abhor cooked fruit. As usual, I surprised myself because this cake was gone in five minutes and I received compliments with the words, love, love and love. It was a winner of a cake and Im glad because it is infinitely adaptable in terms of which fruits to use and will carry me through the summer as a refreshing and simple dessert. Ice cream, anyone?

Apricot Nectarine Buckle
adapted from Williams-Sonoma

3-4 apricots
3-4 nectarines
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 sticks margarine or butter, softened
1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
2 eggs


Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.
Slice the larger fruit into fourths and the smaller fruit into thirds. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place the sugar and margarine in a bowl,
and beat until uniform and creamy.
Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
The batter will look slightly curdled, but that's okay.
Add the flour mixture all at once,
and mix to form a thick dough/batter.
Spread into the prepared pan.
Top with the fruit and gently press the slices into the batter.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean about 45 minutes, I think it took me.
Remove from the oven and when able to remove the ring from around the cake. Cool completely.
This is what was left after three minutes of cutting into it. I'm not kidding.

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