Memorial Day weekend is usually Crazy Town in our household – usually falling right in the middle of two special birthdays. Combine those festivities with typical end of the year school and sports events as well as one of our favorite music festivals in Napa, it’s never a dull weekend! This is a very different May, indeed.
Different, but I wouldn’t say dull – what with a backyard pool, gorgeous weather in the Bay Area and my favorite people around, I’m actually looking forward to it! To make it special and break up the monotony of spending so much time at home, I plan on all the pool floaties, music blasting on the speakers, fun trays of snacks, poolside cocktails and a strong vacation mindset. Mindset is KEY!
Also on tap for the weekend is my annual apricot jam making fest- it’s a house speciality and a gift I give all year long to friends and family. Our local bakery makes the most amazing sourdough country loaf and croissants- that combined with some high quality salted butter and apricot jam- and you’ve created yourself a little slice of Parisian heaven. YUM
And finally, since it’s peak cherry season, my cherry and nectarine cake is a simple and easily adaptable treat that I just made for the weekend- and you should too! It’s full of pantry staples and only requires a few ingredients. Turns out it’s a light after dinner treat but I think even more enjoyable with a morning or afternoon coffee! Remember, it’s that vacation mindset that allows for these kinds of treats.
Cherry and Nectarine Snack Cake
This easily adaptable cake takes only a few pantry ingredients and can be used with pretty much any fruit that is in season. My favorites include apricot, nectarine, cherry, or a combination of berries. It's not too sweet, making it a perfect pair with afternoon coffee or tea. I love the almond extract with summer fruits. Adapted from a butter cake recipe from Sunset magazine many years back!
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup cherry halves and thinly sliced nectarine about 8 cherries and 1 small nectarine
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1 tbsp raw sliced or slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter or use baking spray to grease a 9-inch pan with a removable rim.
In a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
Add eggs and almond extract and beat until combined.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat on high for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Scrape the thick batter into the baking pan and smooth with spatula.
Place fruit evenly over the batter and sprinkle with almonds and turbinado sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely on a baking rack before removing the rim and dusting with powdered sugar.