IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!!!! – Apricot Upside Down Cake

I had plans for dinner.  They were called leftovers and then I checked the mail.  The plans were gone and it was time to celebrate.  My diploma arrived!  I now have official proof I finished my MFA.

So, instead of leftovers, I made Apricot Upside Down Cake.  If you ask my mother, cake for dinner is not an adequate meal.  However, my grandmother, Gavey, was a firm believer in pie and cake for breakfast.  So I’m switching it up a little.  Breakfast, dinner, they’re the same thing right?

They are both meals, but I actually don’t care.  I’m breaking all the rules tonight, and eating my cake with a cold beer.  You wouldn’t think beer and cake go well together, but when you’re celebrating it’s all about you!

Upside down cake is an interesting thing.  You bring the butter to foam and then reduce the heat.  Each time I do this I worry the butter is going to burn.   It didn’t burn, thankfully, and when I sprinkled the brown sugar over the butter I watched it melt and float across the pan.  The kitchen filled with the thick scent of molasses.  It was all I could do to keep myself from sticking my finger in and having a taste (don’t do this though because, I can tell you from experience, you’ll get burnt).

After plopping the apricots into the sugar, spooning the batter over the them and slipping the pan into the oven, I sat back and relaxed.  The molasses filled air was replaced with baking sugar and the ripe scent of apricots.

Closing my eyes, I couldn’t help but smile.  It’s not everyday you indulge in caramel fruity goodness, packed into a thick layer of moist cake.  Transferring the cake from the pan to the plate is a little nerve wracking, I’m not going to lie.  What’s harder though is waiting for the cake to cool before you cut into it.

But it’s worth it.  Once it cools you have tangy, sweet bites of goodness.  The bright fruit flavors aren’t lost in the baking.  They’re enhanced by the caramel topping and made filling by the cake bottom.

I took the cake and my beer out on the back deck.  Babe certainly enjoyed a romp in the yard and I soaked up the last few rays of sun.  Let me just tell you, dinner was amazing and Gavey would be proud.  I certainly know she’ll be smiling down on me when I have another slice for breakfast (minus the beer of course).

Apricot Upside Down Cake
Serves 10

1 stick butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
8 apricots, halved lengthwise and pitted

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¾ cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Making Topping
Heat the butter in a 10” oven safe skillet over moderate heat until it is foaming. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter.  Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, as sugar begins to melt into the butter.
Note:  Not all the sugar will dissolve.

Remove from heat and plop the apricot halves, cut side down, into the butter/sugar mixture.

Making Cake
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a small bowl.

Beat together butter, sugar, and extract in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.  Add each egg, one at a time, beating after each addition until mixture is creamy.  After final egg, mixture will have nearly doubled in volume.

Add milk and flour alternately and continue mixing until fully incorporated.

Gently spoon batter over apricots and spread evenly.

Bake Cake
Bake 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a wooden pick comes out clean.
Note: If your fry pan is not oven safe, cover the handle with aluminum foil.

Immediately invert a large plate over the pan.  Keeping the pan and the plate firmly pressed together, invert cake onto the plate.  Lift the pan carefully.  Allow to cool slightly or serve at room temperature.
Note: USE OVEN SAFE MITTS!!!  Also, if some of the fruit remains in the pan, scrape from surface and add back to the top of the cake.Recipe in print-friendly format

About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

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