I have been lazy in the kitchen. Last week, I cooked all of one (1) dinners, and you saw the soba noodles and tilefish on instagram if you follow. Though delicious, the meal was hardly ambitious. Partly I owe the lack of cooking to long summer days and fun plans. But we’re already picking up our CSA, which means there are vegetables in the fridge, which means I’ll be cooking again soon. I gotta!
This cake is for exactly that situation: when your motivation to cook clocks in lower than the percentage of your fridge occupied by seasonal vegetables and fruits. Maybe you picked up pints of cherries in a more ambitious moment than right now. Maybe you, too, are in a generously portioned CSA (great tips for using up CSA veggies in the comments here). Or maybe you come from the reverse angle, that you need to go to a party and bring a cake.
You’ve seen this cake before. The apricot-pecan version in these photos is another version of Grandma Esther’s Plum & Walnut Cake. When little plums are in season (September, round here), I make that. But in other seasons, I’ve found, the oil-based batter crisps up into a luxurious cake around any fruit, and any nut. That means cherries in July, peaches, in August, and plums in September. The flexibility also means that dried fruit works: plump dried apricots are a welcome addition in the colder months, and the add-in in the version of this cake I made for Food52.