As you can see, it was difficult to decide what to call this. I freely admit to lifting it almost wholesale from Baking in Franglais, because I had a few ripe apricots that needed using quickly. As usual, I made a few changes; I forgot to buy an orange, so I added lemon zest instead, and I used only apricots because I’d eaten all the cherries. Also, the recipe specifies a 20-cm springform tin. In my cupboard I have an 18-cm and a 22-cm one. Hmph. I decided to go for the 22-cm one until I saw what a tiny amount of mixture there was. The 18-cm one was the perfect size, producing a taller cake than Jean’s. I reckon I could have doubled the recipe if I’d used the 22-cm tin.
Verdict: a really good, light cake with very little fat and sugar. Cold, you can eat it as cake; we had it slightly warm for dessert with a dollop of chilled fromage frais, but cream or custard would be fine too, of course. It’s a keeper, for those times when you have a small amount of ripe fruit to use up. I’m sure it would be great with plums, cherries or peaches, apples or pears, or any combination. You can vary the other flavourings according to what fruit you use.
90 g caster sugar
40 ml oil (I used olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil)
55 ml milk
140 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
grated zest of one orange or lemon
1 tsp ground ginger or other spice of your choice
4-6 apricots and/or other fruit
2 tbs apricot jam or quince jelly to glaze
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Grease and line an 18 or 20-cm springform cake tin.
In a stand mixer or with an electric whisk, beat egg and sugar until pale and creamy. Add everything else except the fruit and jam and beat again till thoroughly combined. Pour into the tin.
Prepare the fruit: for stone fruit such as plums, apricots or cherries, halve and remove stones. For apples or pears, peel, core and slice. Arrange on top of the cake. Bake for about 30 minutes till golden brown and springy on top (mine took nearer to 45 minutes — test with a skewer to check it’s done).
Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove and let the cake cool. While it’s cooling, warm the jam or jelly with a little water and then brush over the top of the cake. Serve warm or cold.