This little torte was sort of a gamble that paid off. Sometimes I’m guilty of buying fruit just because it looks pretty…am I the only one who does this? Anyway, after I bought the lovely couple pounds of apricots, I had to figure out what to do with them, hence the conceptualization of this little torte.
Apricots, like many stone-fruits, will continue to ripen after you purchase them so they tend can be a time-sensitive fruit to have in the kitchen. Always try to smell fruit before you buy; if it smells good, it’s ripe and should taste just as delicious. Similarly, make sure that you don’t pick your summer fruits randomly but instead give them a feel first. Though most apricots, peaches and the like should be firm, you don’t want them to be hard or mushy — they should be just right.
I found the inspirational recipe in the German section of the “international” cookbook published by The New York Times back in the 1960′s. The original recipe used a tart apple at the filling and I worried that the apricots might be too juicy in the torte and make it more soggy then delicious. However, I really shouldn’t have been so foolish. The apricots added a lovely sweetness and texture and Collin Murray immediately declared this torte to be the German version of a cobbler and promptly helped himself to seconds.
This cake, which is free of butter(!) and oil(!) is pretty quick to throw together and I have a sneaking suspicion that you could use several different kinds of fruit if you lacked apricots — strawberries, peaches, apples or cherries — go crazy my friends.
Apricot Torte (adapted from The New York Times Internal Cookbook)
Makes one 8-inch square or round torte
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup apricots, cut into thin slices
½ cup walnut pieces, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter the inside of a square or round baking dish and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg with an electric mixer until it is thick and light yellow, about three minutes. Gradually beat in sugar and beat an additional one minute.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg being careful not to overbeat. Stir in apricots, walnuts and vanilla and quickly pour into prepared baking dish.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm or cool with or without whipped cream.