I wanted to try this apricot coffee cake since I spied organic apricots at the market. It took me a little while because I was busy making homemade apricot jam. I have made several batches with different recipes trying to get the very best one. I am very pleased with the jam recommended by MyFrenchCountryHome. She said she uses Delia Smith’s and I concur. I was quiet pleased with it so just to gild the lily I thought I would make this coffee cake.
I have been getting up early to beat the heat. I think the heat is winning, but I feel compelled to try. If I am going to bake I want to finish before the kitchen gets too hot.
I think I mentioned before how crazy I am about Zov’s food. I was given her cookbook for my birthday one year. Does my niece know what I like or what? I usually go straight for the desserts in a cookbook, but at her encouragement the first thing I made was the rosemary Parmesan scones. Ever since I made the scones, the angel hair pasta, and a fish dish that I make on Christmas Eve, I began to think I could cook. Everyone loves those dishes and they encourage me to make them when they are around.
I finally found my way to the dessert section and no surprise here, another excellent recipe, the apricot coffee cake. The coffee cake is really rich because of the many egg yolks (Use the whites for meringues or pavlova or with 4 more an angel food cake).
Zov said the shortening is important for the moisture and the flakiness. My apologies, but I substituted butter for the shortening because I have issues with shortening – it is made from soy. I used Plugra. It is an European style butter, but made in the USA. If you can find it, try it. I don’t want to get in trouble like that one butter lady, but I swear I could just stand at the refrigerator just to smell this butter. Just be sure to use judiciously – you can’t do this every day – it’s for special and/or for company so you don’t eat it all.
This coffee cake has a batter-piped top I guess you would not have to pipe, but it lends to the texture of the cake, not to mention that even with my
limited nonexistent decorating skills it still is pretty gorgeous.
I may have mentioned it before, but I have purchased three more Zov’s books and passed them out at Christmas or birthdays because when I find something really good, I try to force-feed my friends. Thank you Zov for another great find. I would encourage all of you to try it, you’ll like it, and then go get this book and work your way through it. She is not a relative, nor did she compensate me for my gushing.
Also, you do not have to make your jam, but homemade is so much better. However if you do not have the time or the inclination, may I suggest Maman brand jam and jellies, while not homemade, a very good substitute, and I will not judge you. And finally, if you do not like apricot, I suggest you use Chris’ strawberry freezer jam. It is ridiculously easy, the only reason not to make Chris’ jam is that you missed strawberry season. Put it on your calendar for next year.
- 3 cups Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ½ cups Sugar
- 1cup Solid Shortening – I used butter
- 8 Egg yolks – use whites for meringues or angel food cake
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 cup Sour cream
- 1 cup Apricot preserves
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Mise en place ~ Gather all ingredients
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare 8×8 pan with parchment – I used a quarter-sheet pan.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside
- Cream sugar and shortening until creamy. (I used butter)
- Add yolks one at a time – mix each until well incorporated.
- Add vanilla
- Alternate – add dry and sour cream in increments of 3.
- Reserve a third of the batter – place into a piping bag with large star tip.
- Spread two-thirds batter onto sheet-pan
- Spread apricot jam evenly over batter.
- Pipe reserve batter in a cross-hatch or basket weave design.
- Bake until lattice turns golden brown and tester comes out clean of batter.
- Approximately an hour – If you bake in a quarter-sheet pan the time will be different since it is a shallower cake.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar
I halved this recipe. That caused the cake to be more of a bar instead of coffee cake. If I have more than two people I would make the whole recipe and send some home with them.
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