A weekly instalment of what’s seasonal.
Cherries are a seasonal treat, yet their price means that they remain a splurge. I can’t imagine doing anything other than enjoying the plump, juicy fruit unadulterated. Which would leave me with nothing to write about.
Instead, I’ve decided to focus on apricots. Granted, apricots aren’t exactly local, but then neither are cherries. You may have to seek out apricots at a specialty market like Produce Depot or Farm Boy.
Here is my aunt’s recipe for apricot cake. She lives outside Vienna in rural Lower Austria. The dough is her standard go-to but she varies the fruit according to what’s ripe in her orchard. I like to time my visits for apricot or zwetschke (blue/Italian plum) season. You can whip this rustic cake up in a matter of minutes. If you don’t have a food processor, make it by hand in a large bowl.
Austrian Apricot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose Flour
- ½ cup granulated Sugar
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 6 Tbsp cold, unsalted Butter, cut into bits
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk
In the bowl of a food processor, mix together flour, sugar and baking powder. Pulse once or twice to blend. Add in cold butter and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (flour with little nuggets of butter the size of corn kernels). In a cup, whisk the egg and milk together with a fork. Add to flour mixture and pulse for a second or two at a time until the dough just comes together.
Do not over-mix. The dough should look lumpy and not done. Press the batter evenly into an unbuttered 10” x 15” pan. If the dough sticks to your hands, rinse your hands with cold water, dry them and continue.
- 8-15 Apricots
- 1/3 cup granulated Sugar
- Cinnamon (optional)
Halve and pit the apricots. Arrange them, cut side up, on the batter. You can choose to place them as close together as you like but they should be in a single layer. Press the fruit into the dough. Pile a small spoonful of sugar onto each piece of fruit. Be sure to use the entire 1/3 cup of sugar or the fruit will taste too sour once baked. Sprinkle with cinnamon if using.
Bake the cake in the middle rack of a preheated 350° F oven for 25 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the batter comes away clean and the fruit is bubbling. Cool before serving.
SWMBO blogs at travellargefamily. She’s currently at work planning an 18-month world voyage with her gang.