I grew up in, Los Altos, California. In the olden days before it was Silicon Valley, Los Altos was apricot country. I remember driving through miles of orchards with screen after screen of apricot halves drying in the sun (we called them ears). The orchards stretched for miles. We had a couple trees in our yard, too, and we always made apricot jam, which I would promptly get sick of. In fact, I remember coveting the peanut butter and grape jam sandwiches of my friends. It seemed so extravagant to me!
Apricot season is approaching, and I have been sampling the early crop at our farmers market. I cannot get enough of these sweet, juicy fruits, which means there is an apricot tummy ache in my future.
The apricot is easily adapted to many recipes, but today I am offering one of all-time favorite cakes. Upside-down cake is usually made with pineapple, and I love it that way, too. But right now the apricots are a perfect match for this delicate, buttery cake. When their season comes to a close, substitute whichever fruit comes next in your area. Peaches, plums, cherries, pears, apples, or maybe even pineapple!
1 TB. melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
10-12 fresh apricots, sliced in wedges
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup amaretto
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a 10″ round cake pan with pan spray, line with a circle of parchment paper, and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly across bottom of pan, then top with almonds and neatly arranged apricot wedges. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together until smooth and lump-free. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and add alternately with milk. Stir in amaretto, then pour batter over apricots. Bake 25-30 minutes until firm to the touch. A pick inserted should come out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then invert and cool. Serve wedges with a dollop of whipped cream.