With apricots in season at the moment, the best way to enjoy them is to simply eat them as they are when they are juicy and ripe. But if, like me, you have a tendency to buy too many at a time and the fruits ripen before you have had a chance to eat them at their best, a small batch of apricot jam is usually a good way to use up excess (and over-ripe) apricots. Another option is this lovely Apricot Crumble Cake.
This happens to be a very versatile recipe, one which I often use with different fruits, depending on what is in season. I particularly love this cake with red plums which tastes so comforting when served warm with a vanilla custard on the side. But any stone fruit can be substituted in this cake, and I have even tried it successfully with tinned pear halves as a last minute dessert. And it seems that, no matter the type of fruit I use in this cake, the cake is almost always demolished in one sitting with barely a crumb leftover. I might need to play around with the quantities to make it a bigger cake next time!
- For the cake:
- 140 g (5 oz) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons full cream milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- about 6-9 ripe apricots (preferably still firm)
- For the crumble:
- 40 g (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 35 g (1¼ oz) caster sugar
- 35 g (1¼ oz) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Grease and line the base of a 20 cm (8 inch) round springform cake tin.
- Place the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and sugar into a large bowl.
- In a large jug or mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla and melted butter.
- Gently mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until everything is incorporated.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin.
- Halve the apricots and remove the seed. Arrange the apricots, cut-side facing up, on top of the batter, and gently press them into the batter.
- Make the crumble topping by placing the flour, ground cinnamon, sugar and butter into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the other ingredients with your fingertips until you have a mixture resembling wet sand.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apricots.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the crumble is lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving warm or transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The ground cinnamon in the cake and crumble are optional, but I find that it goes well with most fruits so I often leave it in.
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