Sunday, July 17, 2011

Apricot Cake

I clearly need to work on my food photography. Also, my decorating skills.
Friday night I went to a canning swap sponsored by Punk Domestics and Blue Chair Fruit. I returned home with a few new items, which meant it was time to once again reorganize my overcrowded bookcase of home canned items. Hidden on the top shelf, I found two jars of "Spirited Apricots" that we had canned on our apricot day last year. Rather than flavor them with the more traditional brandy we had used a bottle of Qi. From the website: "Qi Black Tea Liqueur is a seductive spirit craft-distilled from rare fruits, exotic spices, wildflower honey, and cedar-smoked tea." The jars had been neglected long enough and it was time to find a use for them.

I've written before about Dorie Greenspan's Apple Cake. In fact, it has become one of my go-to cakes because it is easy, flavorful and takes to adaptation well. As I originally wrote, this recipe was inspired and altered from a recipe featured in this David Lebovitz post: 
Last time I added bourboned cranberries. This time I altered it a bit more. If you do not have spirited apricots, I would imagine that you could substitute fresh. In that case I would not puree and add to the batter, but use them more as a straight substitute for the apples in the original recipe.

Note: I used one jar of the apricots with their syrup and one without. This led to a very moist batter (no scraping needed this time!) and a cake that took a long time to bake. In the future, I will probably drain both jars and then add a little bit of their syrup to the batter, much like the original recipe uses rum. I also think this cake calls out for whipped cream, but I was baking from pantry contents and did not have any cream on hand. Next time!

3/4 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 pints Qi-ed apricots, 1 drained, 1 as is
powdered sugar for dusting the top of the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

2. Heavily butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
3. In a mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter, and mix until well combined.
4.Add one jar of the apricots and beat until fully combined in the batter. As they have been soaking in syrup, they will break down and puree quickly. The batter will be very moist.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and add the additional jar of apricots, drained, to the top. If you are more talented than I am, they should probably be in some sort of decorative pattern.
6. Bake the cake for 1 and 1/2 hours or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan.
7. Dust with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream and serve.

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