“I had four large peaches in my dish cupboard where I park fruit so they won’t be attacked by fruit flies while they ripen. These peaches I had purchased several days ago at Swango’s farmstand, here in Bath, where I live. I asked if they came from their farm, and the proprietor said no, but that they were from Maine. They looked lovely but were too hard.

“This morning I opened the cupboard for a plate and the peaches smelled fabulous. I realized today was the day, or I’d be sorry. At first I thought I would make a small pie but I couldn’t remember where I got the wonderful pie recipe that I used last fall. Luckily, I had received an emailed newsletter early this morning form David Lebovitz, the Paris-based cook, talking about a summer cake-like dessert that could be used for any kind of fruits. Et voila! P.S. I finally tasted a tiny bit: delicious! P.P.S. . I discovered it’s very good for breakfast, too.” —SUSAN T. LANDRY, Bath

Moelleux aux fruits d’ete

Susan Landry very lightly adapted this recipe from Paris-based food writer David Lebovitz. He prefers it with apricots and plums, though he says nectarines, peaches, cherries or berries would also work.

1½ pounds apricots or plums (or as many slices as you can fit)

¾ cup almond or hazelnut flour

½ cup all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups granulated sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or ½ teaspoon almond extract)

Coarse granulated brown sugar, such as tubinado, to sprinkle

Halve the fruit and remove the pits. Slice the fruit into 3/4- to 1-inch wedges. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan very well with butter or nonstick spray. (If you don’t have a springform pan, grease a cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.)

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the soft butter and mix it in with the spatula until it’s broken up into little pieces, roughly the size of kernels of corn. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract, until it’s almost smooth. It’s fine if small pieces of butter are visible.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the wedges of fruit on their sides in concentric circles over the batter, snugly placing the wedges against each other, pressing them gently into the batter as you go. Avoid putting them right up against the sides of the pan to make the baked cake easier to remove from the pan. Leave room for the batter to rise between the fruit and the pan, to avoid juices from the fruit adhering to the sides of the pan as the moelleux bakes.

Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the top and bake until the center just feels set; a toothpick inserted into the center should come out free of cake crumbs stuck to it, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack. If any fruit juices have bubbled up and stuck to the sides of the pan, run a knife around the outside of the cake, which will help it release later.


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