2017-07-12 / Entertainment

Upside-down cake a summer treat

By SARA MOULTON
The Associated Press


This photo shows a stone fruit, almond upside down cake in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP) This photo shows a stone fruit, almond upside down cake in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP) This recipe for Stone Fruit Almond Upside-Down Cake works equally well using any kind of stone fruit or a mix of every kind of stone fruit, including plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches and plumcots.

The appeal of the mixed-fruit version — the rainbowlike beauty of the unmolded cake in concert with the rich chord of its flavors — edges out the monochrome visuals and taste of a cake made with just one kind of fruit.

I have specified using firm ripe fruit for this recipe. If the fruit is very ripe, it’ll be too ripe — mushy and difficult to slice. However, very firm unripened fruit will work well, too. Baking those guys simultaneously tenderizes them and amps up their flavor.

The only hurdle when cooking with stone fruit is de-stoning it. The best way to do the job is to slice around the natural seam, preferably with a serrated knife. Then you twist the two halves apart to expose the pit, much as you would with an avocado. Lastly you pluck out the pit with your fingers, if it’s loose enough, or scoop it out with the aid of a melon baller. Now it’s easy to rest the two halves flat on the counter and slice them into wedges.

The heart of this recipe’s allure hinges on the contrast between the fruit’s tartness and the cake’s sweetness. That sweetness resides in the almond paste, so be sure not to use marzipan, which is much more sugary and would make the cake cloyingly sweet.

This cake is a cinch to throw together using a mixer, but the ingredients should all be at room temperature to develop the proper texture.

Don’t forget to top it off with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Stone Fruit Almond
Upside-Down Cake
Start to finish: 1 hour 25
minutes (45 active)
Servings: 8 to 10

10 tablespoons unsalted
butter, softened
3 tablespoons brown
sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
extract
1 pound stone fruit (apricots, nectarines, peaches,
plums, plucots or a mix),
pitted and cut into 1/3- to
1/2-inch thick wedges
4 ounces almond paste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room
temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) allpurpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking
powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup apricot jam
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl combine 2
tablespoons of the butter,
the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.
Lightly grease the sides of
an 8-inch square cake pan;
spread the brown sugar
mixture evenly over the
bottom of the pan. Arrange
the fruit wedges in one
layer, decoratively on top
of the brown sugar mixture.
In a food processor combine the almond paste and
the sugar; process the mixture until it is finely ground.

Transfer it to a large bowl,
add the butter and beat
with an electric mixer until
the mixture is light and
fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time,
making sure each one is
incorporated before adding
the next one and scraping
down the sides of the bowl
with a rubber spatula between each addition.
In a small bowl whisk
together the flour, baking
powder and salt. Add to the
almond mixture and stir
with a rubber spatula until
just combined. Spoon the
batter over the fruit slices,
spreading it evenly. Bake
the cake on the middle
shelf of the oven until a
skewer, when inserted,
comes out clean, about 40
minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes on
a rack. In a small saucepan
combine the apricot jam
and 1 tablespoon water;
cook over medium-low
heat until the jam is melted
and smooth. Add additional water if necessary to
make the jam loose enough
to brush on the fruit. Run
a knife around the edge of
the cake and invert it onto
a serving platter. Brush the
fruit with the jam and serve
the cake with the whipped
cream or ice cream.

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