Juicy, slightly tart, ripe apricots in a butter cake, often referred to as a buckle, is a “Welcome Summer!” dessert treat. Serve it this month and into July, when fresh apricots are available in markets.
Shop for ripe apricots with your young kids, letting them count up five to seven (depending on size) for this recipe, or let them weigh about 1 1/4 pounds’ worth. Look for firm fruit that gives under light pressure.
When you return home, wash the apricots and gather ingredients. While you wait for the butter to come to room temperature, your school-age child may zest a lemon and another may butter and flour the pan while you slice the fruit. Now everything will be ready to go together in a snap.
FRESH APRICOT BUCKLE
Makes 9 large servings
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 cups firm, ripe apricots, pitted and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Powdered sugar (optional)
To prepare oven, pan: Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking pan. Dust with flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside.
To make cake batter: In a medium bowl, let your child measure and combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar at high speed until smooth and light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon zest.
Stir half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Add milk. Gently stir in remaining flour mixture only until blended and smooth.
To arrange apricots: Spoon batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Arrange apricot slices, slightly overlapping in rows or decoratively over the batter. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over batter and apricots.
To bake cake: Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
To serve: Slice. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar, if you wish.
Shopper’s note: Firm ripe plums can be substituted for the apricots. Top with American flags on each piece for a festive Fourth of July dessert.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2018 Donna Erickson; Distributed by King Features Syndicate
—PRIME TIME WITH KIDS: Bake a fresh apricot buckle–