Friday, November 21, 2008

Comfort me with apricots

Anyone out there a Ruth Reichl fan? Ruth is a former LA Times and NY Times restaurant critic, now the editor of Gourmet magazine. She's written three books that I've loved and a cookbook that I never use.

My late paternal grandfather was married three times. His third wife had a son from her first marriage, Michael Singer. Michael is married to Ruth. The last time I saw Ruth was sometime in the 70s.

She is a gifted storyteller and I truly enjoyed the adventures she shares in her books. In her last one, Garlic and Sapphires, she mentions an apricot upside down cake that was the only thing her mother-in-law made well. I don't remember my grandfather's third wife cooking much at all so I took this opportunity to email her for the recipe.

Much to my surprise, two hours after I pushed SEND, Ruth responded to my email with the recipe. It turned out to be her first mother-in-law's creation. But the apricot cake is good, really good, and I'm sharing it with you all here.

Betty Davis' Apricot Upside Down Cake

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 large can apricots
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Melt the butter in 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet (or a baking pan).
  • Stir in the brown sugar and the nuts.
  • Arrange the apricots, cut sides up, in the pan. Reserve the liquid in the can.
  • In a large bowl beat the egg yolks.
  • Add the sugar, mix well, and beat in 1/2 cup of the apricot syrup. Add vanilla.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix into the yolk mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Pour over the apricots.
  • Bake about 1 hour.

1 comment:

Paige said...

You are a rock star. I won't make this because it's missing chocolate, but I've loved Ruth Reichl books forever and you are related! gotta go tell my sis.

Are you on your trip yet??? I'm thinking of you. It's freezing here and I've been sick.... Ugh.