Friday, June 17, 2011
Apricot Cinnamon Tea Cakes
I’m pretty thrilled to have apricots in my world once again! It seems like forever since I last had the pleasure of savoring their bright sunset glow. Since apricots are my favorite fruit, I usually keep it simple and go to my favorite apricot pastries and desserts, such as the incomparable Apricot Galette, the super delicious Apricot Cornmeal Crumb Tart and the incredibly sumptuous Apricot Compote that pairs with a very tender Cornmeal Cake (it’s also really good spooned over homemade vanilla bean ice cream or some incredible Noyau ice cream).
Once I get those necessities and obsessions out of my system, only then can I start to think about other recipes. But today I’ve put together these very quick tea cakes, good for a morning or afternoon crowd. I’m not sure why but I’ve been craving cinnamon lately so these cakes became a vehicle to co-mingle the spicy adventure of cinnamon with the tart tang of fresh apricots. They are not fancy or fussy, just two-bite morsels of simple goodness to pass around the tea table. Here's to a fabulous season of apricots!
- The cakes are a bit sweet to counterbalance the tartness of the apricots, which become even more tart and acidic when baked.
- If you’re not crazy about cinnamon, use only 1/4 t or eliminate it altogether. Or substitute a pinch of nutmeg.
- Depending on the size of your mini-muffin tins, you made need a second pan for a couple of additional ones.
- I’m also very tempted to eliminate the cinnamon and make these cakes with a very good extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, yogurt instead of milk and the addition of some orange zest.
- I use a small ice cream/cookie scooper to portion the cake batter.
- Substitute ripe peach slices, nectarines or plums.
- You might also enjoy the similar style of these Almond Buckwheat Berry Cakes.
Apricot Cinnamon Tea Cakes
Makes 12 – 14 mini tea cakes
3 - 4 fresh ripe apricots
1 T sugar
tiny pinch cinnamon
3/4 C flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
heaping 1/4 t cinnamon
2 oz (4 T) butter @ room temperature
1/2 C sugar
1 egg @ room temperature
3/4 t vanilla
1/4 C milk @ room temperature
1 T honey for glazing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a mini-muffin pan and a couple of extra cups in a second pan (or line with papers) or 12 - 14 2” tea cake or dariole molds to be placed on a baking sheet.
Slice the apricots into quarters and set aside. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl to be sure you’re fully incorporating the ingredients. Add the egg and mix thoroughly until fully blended. Add the vanilla. Mix in one-third of the flour at a time alternately with one-half of the milk, beginning and ending with flour.
Scoop a tablespoon of cake batter into each mini muffin cup or small mold. Press a slice of apricot into the batter. Sprinkle the apricots with the reserved cinnamon sugar.
Bake the tea cakes for about 20 minutes or until they are slightly browned and the cake springs back when touched. Cool and remove from the pan or molds. Brush the apricots with warm honey if you prefer a more finished presentation.