300g fresh apricots
100g almond paste
100g soft brown sugar
100g SR flour
Prep to Cook: Mixing bowl, spatula, food mixer, veg knife, chopping board, greased ovenproof dish
Oven 190 C Gas Mark 5
Prep: Prep the fruits:
Slice into the apricot allowing the stone to stop the knife. Cut right the way round so that the apricot falls open to expose the stone. Remove the stone.
Place the apricots cut surface down in the bottom of the greased ovenproof dish
Sprinkle the blueberries over the apricots so that they fall into the gaps
Cut the almond paste into blobs the size of walnuts and position them evenly
Grate lemon zest over the fruits and almond blobs
Prep the sponge:
Cream together the margarine and the soft brown sugar
Beat in the eggs one by one
Fold in the SR Flour to make a soft cake mix
Spoon the cake mix over the fruits and spread out to a thin even layer
Cook in the centre of the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes
Check the cake is golden and bouncy to touch
Remove and cool
Apricot, blueberry and almond dessert is best served slightly warm with cream, mascapone cheese or ice-cream. It is sweet and tangy at the same time and bursts with fresh fruity flavours. Fresh apricots contrast well with blueberry and sweet almond marzipan nuggets.
Cooks Know How: You will handle fresh fruits and utilise your knife skills to swiftly remove the stone from the apricots. Use your judgment to get an even spread and mix of fruits and almond pieces as this is the base layer of the pudding. You will add just a touch of lemon zest and this will be subtle. Alongside the fruit you will prepare a plain sponge mix using the creaming method. If you are in a rush you could of course change that to use the all-in-one method as either will produce a decent sponge layer. Cooking the pudding enables the cake to expand and fill the gaps between the fruits. The fat melts in the oven and the raising agent in the flour will promote a light open sponge texture to the cake. The sugar will aid the caramelisation (browning) on the crust of the cake.
You can substitute the fruit with other seasonal fruits such as early greengages or plums. Try mixing in redcurrants or raspberries with yellow plums. Serve the dessert in dishes that show off the colours.