Makes one 9½- to 10-inch round
Not quite a tart and not quite a cake, this confection is a study of contrasts: Dried apricots are embedded in a soft buttery dough tender with buttermilk and lively with ground spices. Serve the cake within a few hours of baking, so the crumb under the fruit is soft.
|10||ounces moist dried apricot halves|
|1½||cups hot brewed tea|
|1||teaspoon baking powder|
|¼||teaspoon baking soda|
|½||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|¼||teaspoon ground allspice|
|¼||teaspoon ground nutmeg|
|½||cup granulated sugar|
|8||tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled|
|2||teaspoons vanilla extract|
|Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)|
1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the apricots and hot tea, pressing the fruit down into the liquid. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the fruit well and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 9½- to 10-inch springform pan.
3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and granulated sugar.
4. In another bowl, whisk the butter, yolks, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour the buttermilk over the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to form a thick dough. Scrape into the pan. With the spatula, make a ½-inch border a little higher than the center. Arrange the apricots in a single layer on the dough, not on the edge.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. The baked cake will pull away from the sides of the baking pan.
6. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Release the sides of the springform and set the cake on its base on the rack. Cool completely. Dust the edges with confectioners’ sugar. Lisa Yockelson