Aug 09 2011
Cooking it Fresh: Apricots
I brought a bagful of Red Jacket Orchards’ apricots home with me on Thursday. Sometimes I go to the market with recipes planned out, and other times, as with these apricots, I come home and begin the process of searching for inspiration. Inspiration can come quickly... or it can take an hour of flipping through cookbooks and various food sites and blogs. For obvious reasons, I prefer when I immediately know what I want to make: I can get started and stave off my predictable low blood-sugar crash.
I wasn’t hit with immediate apricot inspiration. I pulled out every cookbook we owned, but nothing seemed right. I didn’t want to cook lamb and make an an accompanying chutney. I didn’t want to roast the fruits with honey. And though I was tempted, I didn’t want to make another galette (though Justin tried to convince me!).
I finally found this recipe for apricot crumb cake. Annika lives in Jordan and writes about her experiences, both cultural and culinary, in her blog Mishu Mathu. When her father-in-law brought home crates of apricots, she adapted a rhubarb crumb cake recipe into an apricot crumb cake. I planned to use her recipe as a guide, but I ended up completely replicating it. Because baking is such a precise science, I appreciate that all of the ingredients were listed by weight, leaving no room for error.
Baking time depends on your oven’s capabilities. After I poured in the filling, I baked the cake for another 35 minutes. Surprisingly, baked apricots taste like dried apricots’ first cousin; baking releases a denser flavor than if you were to just bite into one. Be careful-the apricots retain their heat!
Apricot Crumble Cake
Recipe Source: Mishu Mathu
For the cake base:
200 grams of soft butter (slightly under a stick)
160 grams sugar (3/4 cup)
a pinch of salt
1 room temperature egg
400 grams all-purpose flour ((3 cups plus 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
600 grams apricots, pits removed and quartered (this translated to about 16 apricots)
For the filling:
2 large eggs
75 grams sugar (1/3 cup)
100ml heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9 inch springform cake pan.
- In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat together the butter, egg, sugar and salt until the mixture is well combined and begins to look fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Add this mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Using a spoon or the low setting on your stand mixer, stir together until smaller and bigger crumbs develop.
- Put two thirds of the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan, gently pressing down to flatten the bottom and form a rim. Spread the prepared apricots on the cake bottom and sprinkle with the remaining crumbs. (My crumbs were more doughy than dry--this is okay.)
- Bake the cake for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla extract in another bowl. Use a whisk to beat until the sugar dissolves. After 25 minutes of baking, remove the cake from the oven and pour the filling over the cake. Be sure to distribute the filling evenly but avoid letting the liquid go beyond the rim.
- Bake for another 25-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling has set. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before removing the pan. Enjoy!