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Cook the Book: Apricot Cake

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

It's always about this time of year that I fall prey to fruit impatience. Peaches, nectarines, and apricots start showing up in the market and inevitably, against my better judgment I buy a couple. Now, I know that these fruits are not yet truly in season, and they won't be nearly as sweet and delicious as they will be in July and August. But every year my fruit impatience gets the best of me, and every year I am disappointed.

This weekend I found myself with some apricots that looked lovely but tasted, well, not quite at their peak. Instead of tossing the slightly mealy little specimens out, I decided to incorporate them into this Apricot Cake from Recipes from an Italian Summer. Through the magic of a buttery cake batter the apricots became perfectly sweet and and creamy during the baking with just the right amount of tartness. The thick cake batter rose to double the size and the top crust studded with chopped pistachios browned beautifully.

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If you also suffer from early summer fruit impatience this recipe can be adapted to use all manner of not-quite-ready-to-eat fruit. Any under or overripe stone fruit would work, and even berries that look better than they taste can be happily subbed in to make for an infinitely more enjoyable summer dessert.

Win Recipes from an Italian Summer

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Recipes from an Italian Summer to give away this week.

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