Apricot is one of Turkey’s most prolific fruit. Because of their abundance, some of the yearly harvest is allowed to dry in the hot summer sun in order to be enjoyed all year round. Malatya, a city in southeast Turkey, is particularly famous for excellent dried apricots which are exported throughout the world.
Apricots are great snacks; being packed with fiber and antioxidants, very healthy too. We love to eat them fresh, dried as well as in cakes and desserts in Turkey. Afternoon tea is a great ritual at home, where ladies prepare lovely cakes and pastries for friends and family, enjoyed over a glass of cay – tea – (this ritual still keeps going strong in our home in England and very popular with my children!). This apricot cake has been inspired by the artisan bakery Popina’s lovely plum tart; it is light, tasty and great with coffee and tea!
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
100 gr/3.5 ounces/1/2 cup golden caster sugar
40 ml/1 1/3 lf oz groundnut oil (or any vegetable oil)
60 ml/2 lf oz whole milk
140 gr/ 5 ounce plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A few drops of vanilla extract
100 gr/3.5 ounce dried apricots, halved
1 1/2 tablespoon apricot jam to glaze
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4
Put the sugar and egg in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk. Add the oil, milk, flour, baking powder and vanilla, mix well until thoroughly combined.
Transfer to a greased cake tin and spread evenly. Place the apricot halves cut side up, over the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until deep golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.
In the meantime, put the apricot jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until melted and runny. Brush the jam all over the tart with a pastry brush and leave for a few minutes before serving.