Apricot Upside-Down Cake

By Gail Gordon Oliver

ET32 Gails ApricotCake upside down 1

I had fun developing this cake, which incorporates ingredients I love to use, including whole-wheat pastry flour, lemon zest, intensely flavoured dark maple syrup, coconut sugar, and my new favourite dairy product—buffalo-milk yogurt. This yogurt has way more depth of flavour than other yogurts; if you can find it, use it. As for apricots, what can I say? Somehow, even very mildly fragrant raw apricots transform into irresistible, delicious tanginess when cooked.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark
8 large (or 10 small) apricots, halved and pitted
6 tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain buffalo-milk yogurt or Greek yogurt

In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and lemon zest; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the 1/4 cup of butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup into the bottom of a well-buttered 9-inch round cake pan. Arrange the apricot halves evenly on top, skin side down.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) cream the 6 tablespoons of butter with the coconut sugar for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined well. Add the vanilla. Fold in one-third of the yogurt alternately with one-third of the flour mixture, repeating twice with both, until just combined.

Using an offset spatula or the back of a soup spoon, spread the batter evenly over the apricots, right to the edge of the pan. Bake in a 350º F oven until the top of the cake is light brown and bounces back when lightly touched, 35 to 40 minutes. Place the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife between the cake and the edge of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.