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!

Bench notes:
- 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.


Valerie said...

They look yummy! I love the way you decorated them with apricot in the middle!

Victoria said...

Those are adorable! I'll have to try to remember this for when apricots come into season here. :)

Pauline said...

Cute! The apricots give a beautiful color to the tarts. What'd be nice is to put two pieces of apricots in the middle so it makes a complete circle, but I guess it's hard with the mini-muffin cups. Mmm, tea cake sounds so good right now.

Katie Elizabeth said...

Ooh these looks delicious! I could see eating these for breakfast any day of the week. Beautiful creation :)

xo katie elizabeth

Barbara said...

These would be wonderful on a tea plate...perfect little mouthfuls.

I posted your lemon almond ice cream today.... so delicious!

Victoria said...






But I can get my hands on some amaaaaazing strawberries so tiny, so sweet.

Luv'n Spoonfuls said...

I now have a wonderful reason to initiate my mini muffin pan that has languished in the back of the cabinet! I love apricots and plan on picking some up this weekend to give this recipe a try (but I already know it will be delicious as ALL of your recipes are!) Another beautiful recipe!

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I love the texture in your photos...they look delicious!

Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous. Apricots are my favorite fruit too, and I also must run through my stable of treasured basic tarts and compote each season before getting experimental. It's been a terrible year for apricots (and all stone fruit) in NorCal due to the cold and rain. I live in the former apricot capital of Winters, and our tree, a Blenheim, had nary a fruit. Found some decent ones at Davis Farmers Mkt. last weekend though, with which I might try your lovely cornmeal tart.

valérie-jeanne said...

I just made these, substituted apricots with plums, had them in the house. Really delicious cakes! My son gave them two thumbs up.

pastry studio said...

Hello all and thank you very much for your response to these little gems. valerie-jeanne, I bet they were super with plums!

Barbara, thanks so much for your very kind feature on my blog. Your ice cream looks fabulous!

My Shopping Genie said...

They definitely look tasty. I am wondering about sweet they are but I suppose that up to the individual making them