Marillenkuchen: Austrian Apricot Cake
Summer means apricot season in Austria and nothing showcases this sweet fruit quite like Marillenkuchen (apricot cake). This week, I lucked out at the grocery store and scored on a flat of apricots for only 3 Euros! Needless to say, I have been busy finding ways to make the most of this fruit and now my whole kitchen smells like apricots.
Marillenkuchen is a versatile dessert and can be served as an after dinner treat or as an accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee. In Austria, I have seen Marillenkuchen served as a part of breakfast and in many cafes. I love how the apricots are the real star of the cake since baking them brings out their natural sweetness.
Marillenkuchen: Austrian Apricot Cake makes 1 cake for an 8×8 inch pan
You will need
10 ripe apricots, you can approximate to cover the top of your cake depending on their size
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
1/2 shot of rum or fruit flavored schnapps
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking pan or line with baking paper . Wash and dry your apricots and cut in half to remove their pits, set aside.
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and softened butter in a large bowl until well combined. Separate your eggs and add the yolks one by one to the mixture. Add in lemon zest and your half shot of alcohol. If you do not want to use alcohol for the mix, feel free to substitute with fruit juice. Avoid using strongly flavored alcohols such as tequila or gin.
Place your egg whites and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl and mix with an electric mixer. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. There are no additional leavening agents in the cake batter, so be sure to beat the egg whites throughly so the cake will be light and fluffy.
Once your egg whites form stiff peaks, alternate adding flour and the beaten egg whites to the initial butter and sugar batter. Check to make sure that there are no streaks of egg white in your batter, this will show up in the final cake.
Once everything is incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place your halved apricots on top of the cake batter with the cut side facing upwards. Do not press down on the apricots, the batter will rise around the fruit to incorporate it into the final cake. Place in the heated oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
Serve topped with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar.