(Sorry, no photo yet.)
Here is a fruit cake for all seasons. In the summer use fresh, but not overripe, apricots, and in the fall or winter use apples. The summer version is easier because you will use unpeeled apricot halves. You'll want enough apricot halves to fully cover the bottom of the baking pan, cut sides facing down. For the apple variety it is best to use a combination of apples, some sweet and others tart and firm. Hallie adapted this gluten free version from an old family recipe that her brother, Simon Karas, used to make when he was very, very young.
|2||Cups||Apples - If using Apricots, your measure is how many apricot halves, touching, it will take to cover the bottom of the pan.|
|1||Cup||Gluten free flour of your choice. Our favorite is Carol Fenster's mix.|
|1/2||teaspoon||Guar gum. If you don't have guar gum you can use xanthan gum. Annalise Roberts prefers guar gum in cakes. It makes for a springier cake.|
|1/2||teaspoon||Salt - We omitted it because the butter is salted and there is more baking powder than in the original recipe. In other words, there is already plenty of sodium.|
|2||Whole||Eggs beaten - Original family recipe calls for 1 egg, but a second egg improves gluten free flour|
|1/2||Cup||Milk or other liquid|
|3||Tablespoons||Butter or margarine|
What I really did was ignore the original directions and ....
Melted 3T. butter in the bottom of the 9" square pan as the oven was coming up to temperature. When the butter was melted, I sprinkled enough brown sugar over it to look healthy, but not to completely cover the bottom of the pan. then I placed the unpeeled FROZEN apricot halves on top of the butter/sugar, apricots cut side down-skin side up.
I mixed the dry ingredients together and put the cinnamon and a healthy shake of nutmeg into the flour mixture, not over the fruit.
I mixed 2 eggs with a glug of vanilla, 1/2 cup minus 1T. of milk, and 1T. of hot pepper apricot sauce. I poured this into the dry ingredients and mixed vigorously by hand, not using the electric mixer. When the batter in poured over the fruit it does not completely cover it. Don't worry, the batter spreads while cooking.
For the topping, I melted the 3T butter and added about 1/4 c brown sugar and 3T maple sugar. If you use all brown sugar, use the full 1/2 cup. since this mixture is now liquid because of the melted butter, you can't sprinkle it over the batter. So just drizzle it on until the batter is pretty much covered.
Because of the extra egg, the baking time increased from 35 to 45 minutes. Use your eye and cake tester to check. The sides of the cake should be pulling away from the sides of the pan and the batter should be set, not jiggley.
Because there is melted butter/sugar under the fruit, you could try upending it onto a platter as soon as it comes out of the oven, like an upside cake. It should release with no problem.