Wednesday, May 13

Apricot-Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

Sweet vanilla cake studded with jammy pockets of apricots

Huckleberry's Apricot-Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

Because of the extra hot winter we had, summer fruits are already showing up at our farmers markets several weeks early. Apricots have a short season (usually only 1-2 months) as it is, so I scooped up a bunch to bring home as soon as I saw them. This apricot and vanilla bean pound cake has been on my list since I first got the Huckleberry cookbook last fall and it does not disappoint. The pound cake is dense and buttery with small flecks of vanilla bean running through batter. It calls for ten full apricots, pitted and halved, which seems like a lot to start. As the cake bakes, the apricots soften into jammy pocked through the cake and the juices thicken and caramelize around the cake's edges. The tangy-tart apricots add a nice contrast to the rich cake with maple syrup glaze and keep it from tasting too sweet. It makes a lovely dessert or snack cake and can even pass for breakfast at our house.

Note: After you scrape out the vanilla bean seeds, save the pod and store it in a container with your sugar to make vanilla sugar.

Related Recipes:
- Lemon Pecan Bread
- Plum Torte
- Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Apricot-Vanilla Bean Pound Cake:
- 10 ripe apricots, pitted and halved
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 18 tbsp. (2 sticks + 2 tbsp.) butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1/3 c. maple syrup, slightly warmed
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped from the center
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- nonstick cooking spray or butter, for greasing pan

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a bundt cake pan with nonstick spray.
  • Fit an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and combine the sugar and vanilla bean (seeds only) in a bowl. Mix for 5 minutes to infuse the sugar with the vanilla.
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine.
  • Add the butter and mix for a minute, until starting to come together but still lumpy.
  • Add in the eggs, yolk, ricotta, and vanilla extract and mix until just smooth.
  • Fold on the apricots by hand to combine and evenly distribute.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until cake is not longer jiggly in the center.
  • Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Brush the outside of the cake with maple syrup and let cool.
  • Slice and serve. Cake can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days.

Serves ten-twelve