Apricot Upside Down Cake

Upside down cakes can be prepared with many different fruits, summer berries such as blueberries work well, poached sliced apples and pears also make an excellent cake. My favourite upside down cake will always be apricot. The cake is delicious hot or cold with thick cream or ice-cream. It's important when poaching the apricots not to overcook them as they will need to hold their shape.

Wine Recommendation: a dry white from the South of France. See The Mixed Case for details.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 60 minutes

Ingredients

Apricots

  • 750g apricots
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 500ml water

Cake

  • 125g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 125ml creme fraiche
  • 125ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g self raising flour

To Serve

  • thick cream
  • or vanilla ice-cream

Method

  1. Poached Apricots: Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and mix it until the sugar dissolves. Place the apricots in the saucepan and place it over a moderate heat. Bring the syrup to a simmer then remove it from the heat. Remove the apricots from the saucepan, place them on a board and allow them to cool. When cooled slice the apricots in half and remove the stones.
  2. Lightly butter a 20-25cm wide cake tin (the size will vary the amount of apricots you need and the depth of the cake). Place the apricots tightly around the base of the cake tin cut side facing upwards.
  3. Batter: Place the butter, vanilla essence and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat them together until light and creamy. While mixing add 1 egg at a time until well combined. Gradually mix in the almonds until well combined. Then gradually mix in the milk and creme fraiche until they are well combined with the mixture. Finally while mixing slowly add the flour and beat the mixture until light and smooth.
  4. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 175°C. Evenly spread the batter over the apricots. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven. Cook the cake for around 45 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top. To test if the cake is cooked place a skewer in the centre of the cake and if it comes out clear it is cooked. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool briefly and turn it out onto a plate and serve it hot or cold.
  5. To Serve: Serve slices of the cake hot or cold with cream or ice-cream.