This is a super cool summer cake. With apricots. Although I am not a big fan of fresh apricots, and same applies for sour cherries, these two fruits are absolutely fabulous in baking. Apricot has such an interesting, very complex aroma, and it is not surprising that apricot jam is considered the best.
In my parents' garden apricot is the summer king. There are several apricot trees always full and heavy with orange colored fruits. My parents are so proud of them... my mom makes nice apricot jam and my father produces fine apricot brandy.
I did few experiments with this cake. First, I tried to make it in 12" x 8" rectangle-shaped baking pan, and cover it with apricot halves. I was also thinking about adding the cut fruits into the batter as my mom does, but I changed my mind, I wanted apricots to be visible because they are very decorative with their orange color. Then I remembered the time when I was little how I used to like apricot halves stuffed with raspberry jam (another jam that my mom makes). Although it seemed a bit decadent, I decided to add the jam on top of apricot halves.
The cake was very good, the batter was soft and with right texture and flavor thanks to yogurt, but the most surprising thing were apricots stuffed with jam. Their taste and look were very special.
Next, I wanted to make round-shaped cake, hoping that apricots with jam would look even better on it. It turned out that the first cake could fit 2 more apricots (4 halves) on it and it was easier for cutting. Everything else was the same.
You can make it either way but remember to bake longer round-shaped cake as it is thicker.
9 medium apricots
9 teaspoons red current or raspberry jam
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Powdered sugar for serving
Rectangle shaped baking pan, 12" x 8"
Round shaped baking springform pan, 9" diameter
Preheat the oven to 395F (200C).
Cut the apricots into halves. Remove pits and fill the halves with 1/2 spoon of jam.
In one bowl mix sifted flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl mix the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar with hand mixer until triple in size. Add gradually flour to egg mixture using spatula, not hand mixer. Then, add yogurt, and oil. Mix it with spatula until you get smooth but still fluffy batter.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan covered with parchment paper. Do not add apricots on the top yet, you'll do it later.
Bake the cake for 4 minutes, until the firm film starts to make on the top. Remove the baking pan from the oven, place the apricots halves with jam on the top of the batter, carefully, and return it to the oven to bake for additional 30 minutes. This way apricots will remain on the top and won't completely sink into the batter. If you bake round shaped cake you will need 7 apricots and 45 minutes to have the cake done. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar on the top.