At the farmer’s market last weekend, my mom was lucky enough to be gifted with 16 nectarines, of various sizes and stages of ripeness. Some had to be eaten right away, their juicy sweetness oozing with every bite. I easily took care of that “problem”. I still had many left over, and I remembered that my friend Zoe makes the most lovely cake that she brings to nearly every brunch that she goes to. No one ever gets sick of it, and I request it even! With this abundance of nectarines, waiting to be consumed, I couldn’t resist borrowing Zoe’s recipe and making her delightful tea cake! You can make it with whatever kind of hard fruit appeals to you…I’ve had it with pears, peaches, nectarines, or plums, and it’s always delicious.
It is simple to make, using simple ingredients and a very quick recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
3/4 cup sugar + a little for dusting the top of the cake
1/2 cup minus 2 Tblsp. Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup plain unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour
2 nectarines, sliced (or other hard fruit)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, for dusting the top of the cake
Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together into a small bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar, and when it is fluffy, add the applesauce, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine. You should have a very stiff batter.
Spread batter evenly into an 8 or 9-inch springform pan, and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
Place slices of fruit on the top in a petal formation, skin side up, on top of the batter.
Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice on top, evenly. Dust heavily with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake for another 40 minutes. Check your cake by sticking a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, then it’s done! You want the cake to brown, but not get too crispy.