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Apricot Crumb Cake

This good all-purpose crumb cake can be made with any juicy fresh fruit. Try substituting prune plums or pitted cherries for the apricots.

Notes

Serving: Serve the cake for breakfast, brunch, or tea, or as a dessert for a casual lunch.


Storage: Keep loosely covered at room temperature. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several days or freeze for up to several months. Defrost and reheat the cake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, and cool before serving.


Hint for Success: Taste the apricots to make sure they are ripe—really underripe apricots are painfully sour.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Equipmentelectric mixer

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealbreakfast, brunch, snack, tea

Moodblue

Taste and Texturebuttery, fruity, sweet

Type of Dishcake, fruit

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ to 2 pounds (about 12 medium) apricots
  • One 10-inch spring form pan, buttered and lined with a disk of parchment or wax paper

Instructions

  1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

  2. For the cake batter, in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until soft and light. Use a hand mixer set at medium speed or a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle, if you have one. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating for about 5 minutes, until very light. Add the egg and continue beating until lighter. Add the yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping the bowl and the paddle occasionally. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder together several times, then stir into the batter.

  3. To make the topping, mix the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt the butter and stir it in evenly. Rub the mixture to coarse crumbs by hand.

  4. Rinse, halve, and pit the apricots. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Arrange the apricot halves, leaving a margin of ½ inch around the edge, cut side up on the batter, but don’t press them in. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the apricots and the batter.

  5. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the crumbs are well colored and the cake is firm and no longer liquid in the center.

  6. Cool the cake in the pan, then run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Remove pan side and slide from base to a platter. Dust the cake lightly with the confectioners’ sugar.

  7. VARIATIONS

    PINEAPPLE CRUMB CAKE: Substitute 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, quartered in the length, and sliced, for the apricots, above. Arrange the pineapple slices in concentric circles and slightly overlapping on the cake batter.

    PLUM CRUMB CAKE: This is perfect in the late summer and early fall when the first Italian or prune plums come to market. Substitute 12 prune plums, rinsed, halved, and pitted, for the apricots, above.

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