Apricot simnel cake recipe

Dan Lepard
Dan Lepard's stonefruit simnel cake.
Dan Lepard's stonefruit simnel cake. Photo: William Meppem

Slim, elegant and intense with flavour, more like a tart than a true cake and perfect for an easy Easter dessert or an afternoon tea snackeroo. For me, you can't do better than a scoop of creme fraiche on the side but if vanilla ice-cream is your thing, then go for it. This keeps well for a few days in an airtight tin. Use apricots, plums or peaches.

Ingredients

melted butter and flour for the tin

100g unsalted butter, softened

50g cream cheese

120g castor sugar

2 eggs, 60g each

50g ground almonds

50g sherry (or orange juice)

150g currants or chopped dried apricots

100g chopped crystallised or glace ginger

120g plain white flour

½ tsp baking powder

11 ripe or tinned small apricot, plum or peach halves

flaked almonds for decoration

about 60g marzipan

Method

1. Brush the inside of a 23-centimetre fluted tart tin with melted butter, and dust evenly with flour.

2. Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar together in a mixing bowl until smooth, then beat in the eggs.

3. Stir in the ground almonds, sherry, currants and ginger evenly, stir in the flour and baking powder then spoon this mixture into the tin and spread across the base.

4. Press 11 drained apricot halves, cut-side upwards, around the mixture, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake at 160C (fan-forced) for about 40 minutes.

5. Meanwhile roll out get 11 tiny balls of marzipan rolled, about five grams each. Remove the cake from the oven, place a ball of marzipan in each apricot and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer until golden. Allow to cool slightly Leave until warm before serving.