As I wandered through the pond garden yesterday evening, watching the fish and the damselflies, I noticed that the apricots had blushed. I tested one. It was soft and ripe—so ripe, the juice dripped down my arm when I bit into it.
This was the first year the apricot tree has given us anything, and the wind stripped many of the fruits a month ago, but there were still about two dozen on the tree, and they were all ready to pick.
So this afternoon, I made apricot upside down cake—for the second time in a month. This time, I’ll give you the recipe…
This is adapted from a recipe in the 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking.
Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a 9-inch (20cm) cast iron skillet or round cake pan. Tilt the pan to coat all sides with butter.
When the butter is melted, sprinkle ½ cup brown sugar evenly over the bottom.
Arrange apricot halves, cut side down in the bottom of the skillet, completely covering the bottom.
Whisk together in a medium bowl:
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp buttermilk
½ tsp vanilla
Combine in a large bowl:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Add to the flour mixture:
6 Tbsp softened butter
6 Tbsp buttermilk
Beat on low speed just until the flour is moistened, then increase the speed to high and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Add one-third of the egg mixture at a time and beat 20 seconds after each addition. Pour batter over fruit.
Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before unmolding. To turn the cake out, run a knife around the edge to ensure the cake has separated from the pan. Place a plate on top of the pan and quickly flip pan and plate together. Carefully lift off the pan.