I have a long backlog of “Ask Auntie Leila” questions… and many things to post about… but feeling a bit of “task gridlock”… how about you?
Life doesn’t seem to get any less hectic even if your kids are all grown and out. Such is my experience.
Instead of figuring out a math curriculum or getting my history books sorted out for the kiddos, I’m wrestling with three manuscripts at once: an ebook that puts all the Casti Connubii posts in one place, the better to access for when your St. Greg’s Pocket meets up and you’d like something substantial to discuss; an essay about the three wishes I have for liturgical reform (they might not be what you think, but maybe you have your three wishes?); and also a book draft.
That’s all. So now you know why I seem distracted here. But let us not be distracted from cake.
There are cakes and there are cakes.
Sometimes you have the time and inclination to go all layers and swirls and frosting and filling. Sometimes “they” are coming (and you know who “they” are — cake-seekers, undoubtedly bringing their little cake-seeking offspring in tow).
You need a dessert that doesn’t take an hour or more in the oven because you were also shopping and cleaning and fielding phone calls, and you didn’t leave quite enough time for cake.
You need cake, but not one that will go all high maintenance on you when you try to get it out of the pan. You know, a bundt.
This is that cake.
The recipe (my version at the end) started out life as one for an awesome apple cake. I recommend trying it that way. Easy and somehow just very apple-y without any interference. Everyone loves this in its original incarnation as “Apple Cake.” (Just remember my golden rule: butter and flour that bundt pan to a fare-the-well.)
I took a snap of the original recipe, copied and pasted in a file from a saved email (oft-forwarded, as you can see with those >>>s):
Lorraine is funny, am I right?
But on this day, I had nectarines and as I say, shortness of time.
And instead of vanilla, I opted for almond extract, which I love and which goes amazingly with stone fruit. Use one teaspoon instead of one tablespoon of the vanilla.
So into the lasagna pan (13 x 9) goes the batter, with the chopped-up nectarines on top.
Sprinkle with a little sugar (if you had them, you could also throw some sliced almonds on top) and pop in the oven for 35 minutes…
… Or not quite this long:
Here is the revised recipe:
Nectarine Flexible Cake, Like Mother, Like Daughter, with a hat-tip to Lorraine
1 cup oil (I used melted butter, after all, but you could use coconut oil or peanut oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3 cups flour
1 Tbps baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix gently, adding
1/4 cup water or apple juice (I am pretty sure that, as I didn’t have apple juice and wouldn’t have thought it went if I had, but wasn’t feeling the water, I did part water and part milk. But I was in a rush and this cake is flexible. Don’t be mad at Auntie Leila, it will be good.)
Put batter in a well greased lasagna pan or large cake pan, 13 x 9.
Top with 3 large nectarines, chopped.
Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned and nicely risen.
Let cool and serve in squares. A little side of whipped cream would not go amiss!