APRICOT UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (for eight)
For the topping:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
10 to 11 small (2 to 2-¼ inch wide) apricots (1-¼ pounds), halved lengthwise and pitted
For the cake:
1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
1-½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
¾ cup well-shaken buttermilk
- Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375*.
- Make the topping. Heat butter in a well-seasoned 10 inch cast iron skillet, or in a heavy ovenproof nonstick skillet (at least 2 inches deep) over moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter and cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes (not all sugar will be melted). Remove skillet from heat and arrange apricot halves, cut sides down, close together on top of sugar mixture. Set aside.
- Make the cake batter. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
- Beat together butter, sugar and extracts in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat batter until creamy and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing just until combined.
- Bake the cake. Gently spoon batter over apricots and spread evenly, being carefulness to disturb fruit. Bake until cake is golden brown and springy to the touch and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in skillet on a rack for 15 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around the edge of the skillet. Wearing oven mitts, invert a large plate over skillet and, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert cake onto plate. Carefully lift skillet off cake and if necessary replace any fruit stuck to the bottom of skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature.
from The Gourmet Cookbook