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Prep time: 40 minutes plus cooling
Cook time: 1 hour
150g unsalted butter – room temperature (plus extra to grease tin)
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp almond extract
50g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
50g fine ground polenta
3tbsp apricot jam to glaze
8 fresh apricots, halved and stoned (You may need more if the apricots are small)
125g granulated sugar
50g unsalted butter
Heat the oven to 200oC/180oC fan/ Gas mark 6
Grease and line a 20-23cm tin. If it has a loose bottom you will need to wrap the outside with foil to prevent the caramel from leaking.
Mix 125g granulated sugar and 75ml of water into a pan, stir on low/med heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Once sugar has dissolved bring the liquid to the boil and wait until it turns a deep amber colour.
Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until it has melted. Pour in to the prepared tin and lay the apricots in the syrup flat side down.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale.
Lightly beat eggs in another bowl then add to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time.
Once eggs are incorporated, add the lemon zest and almond extract.
Mix the flour, ground almonds, polenta, and baking powder together in a separate bowl then gradually fold into the wet mixture. Add milk at intervals.
Once cake mixture is complete spoon gently into the cake tin over the apricots.
Bake for 50 mins until golden brown. To check if it cooked, push a metal skewer into the middle of the cake and it should come out clean. If there is loose cake batter on it, it will need longer in the oven.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
Run a palette knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the tin.
Invert onto a serving plate so that the bottom of the cake becomes to the top. If any apricots have been left behind in the tin, carefully scoop them and place then back into their space on the top of the cake.
You can serve warm at this point. Or leave to cool and add a glaze.
Heat the apricot jame with 2 tbsp of water.
One the jam has dissolved, push it through a sieve to gain a smooth glaze.
Leave to cool a little (adding them to the cake whilst too hot can further cook the apricots and cause them to go too soft) then paint a thick layer of glaze of the apricots.
Allow to set a little then serve.