(from: Tender II by Nigel Slater)
175g soft butter
175g brown sugar
200g ripe apricots (4 or 5)
175g self-raising flour (I just used regular flour and 1/2 a sachet of baking powder)
100g ground almonds
2 tablespoons milk
Line a 20cm diameter springform pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the butter and the sugar in a large bowl and beat with the hand mixer until you have a pale and fluffy batter. Halve, stone and roughly chop the apricots. Beat the eggs lightly and add them to the creamed butter and sugar a little at a time, occasionally pushing the mixture down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If there is any sign of curdling, stir in a tablespoon of flour.
Mix the flour, the baking powder and the almonds together and fold in, with the mixer on slow speed, in two or three separate lots. Add the milk and when it's incorporated, add the apricots and the berries.
Pour your batter into the cake tin and bake for about an hour and ten minutes. You may have to check after 50 minutes or so and cover the cake with aluminium foil in order to prevent its surface from burning. Test whether it's done with a wooden skewer. If it comes out relatively clean, the cake is done. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about ten minutes, then, run a knife around the edge and slide it out onto a plate. Dust with icing sugar.
The cake is wonderful when still slightly warm, but can also be kept for one or two days.
The decorating idea comes from two of my favourite blogs which time and again serve as an inspiration: Technicolor Kitchen and Poires au Chocolat.