Use a 26-28 cm frying pan with a metal handle or a skillet, heat on medium and add butter and sugar to pan. Allow to melt, swirling pan gently now and then.
Add lemon juice, vanilla and increase temperature slightly – the mixture will have started bubbling already. Swirl the pan and watch the liquid as it starts to colour. In about 5 minutes it should turn a nice caramel colour.
Remove from heat, it will darken off the heat too. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Add the apricots, cut side down, in two concentric circles to cover base of pan. Scatter the thyme leaves over and between.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy (or use hand held beater or wooden spoon if doing manually).
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix.
Sift flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture. It will be thick.
Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the nuts and lemon zest to the batter. It will be a firm batter.
Fold egg whites thorough the cake mixture with a rubber spatula. Spoon evenly over the apricots and smooth with a spatula. (note batter is thick)
Bake cake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake – comes out clean. It may bake quicker in your oven, check after 30 minutes at 5-10 minute intervals.
Remove cake from the oven and leave in the pan for 5 minutes.
Turn over onto a plate by holding the plate over the pan and inverting the pan and plate at the same time – strong arms!
Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt.
Reprinted with permission of The Food and the Fabulous. To
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