Another beautiful weekend in Seattle – boy have we been spoiled this summer. And you should just see the markets. I seriously haven’t seen such amazing looking produce at the farmer’s markets in years. I walk around in awe at just about everything. This Saturday was no exception. The market was more crowded than usual – because word is getting out about how beautiful everything is – I just know it. There was so much to buy, my daughter finally had to tell me to stop, and walk around the entire market before I put anything else in my bag. I have taught her well.
I remember leaving work on Friday and telling my coworkers that I was not going to work this weekend. One of them even had the audacity to suggest that I turn off my email on my phone – like that would ever happen. I told her that the anxiety I would get when I started syncing my mail again would be enough to throw me over the edge – and that I would do better just monitoring things, but reminding myself that it was time for a break. Then they asked me if I was going to cook this weekend – as I emphatically said “YES!” I explained that I had absolutely no idea what I would be making – and that it would all depend on what I found at the farmer’s market in the morning. Well, I found the mother-load. I had big plans based on what I brought back to the house – and I am pleased to report that I made everything that I wanted (ok, not exactly – I made everything I thought I could make, but believe me, that was not everything I wanted – that would take me another couple of weeks)…and everything turned out exceptionally well. What did I make? Well, I started with a couple jars of these, I made a big batch of this, and some new stuff that I can’t wait to show you. Everything was made from locally sourced produce, which makes me even happier.
One of my favorites stands at the University District farmer’s market is this woman who sells her amazingly perfect apricots. They are just stunning. I get them in my hands, and I don’t want to put them down. I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and I immediately thought of this nice woman. Her apricot’s would make these little cakes glow. These little babies were delicious – just the perfect size, and just the right amount of golden apricot flavor. They were super easy to make – and with or without whipped cream, they were a wonderful summertime treat. I can hardly wait to see what the market will bring next week – all I know is that I am starting the week refreshed and ready to go, with my eye on the prize – next week’s market that is.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 apricots, halved, pitted, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat muffin cups with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin cups (cups will be only 1/3 full) and smooth tops. Top with apricot slices and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake until cakes are golden and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let pan cool 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack and let cool completely.
DO AHEAD: Cakes can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
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