"Cheryl, why are you sitting on that fruit roll-up?"
"Don't be ridiculous. It's a fruit leather."
"You want to join me?"
Then we lounge side-by-side on the fruit leather, perfuming our bums with the sweet scent of apricot.
Speaking of apricot, I thought you might like a recipe for this apricot quick bread, or tea cake. (FYI: I used real dried apricots. No fruit leathers were harmed in the making of this recipe.) I adapted it from the lovely cookbook The Perfect Finish (W.W. Norton, 2010) by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. Yosses is the executive pastry chef at the White House (as in) and Clark writes a dining column each week for the New York Times.
The original recipe is actually for Chewy Brown Sugar Date Walnut Loaf, but I -- having worked neither 1) for the President of the United States, nor 2) for the country's preeminent newspaper (unless you count Metro Silicon Valley) -- nonetheless took it upon myself to screw around a little. This was due mostly to the presence of dried apricots in my house and the lack of presence of medjool dates. The coconut was just something I tossed in because -- do I need to explain it? It's coconut.
Also, pecans may have gotten involved.
Look, if Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark don't care for my version, I'll just invite them over, and we can sit down together and resolve any hard feelings.
"Welcome to my home," I'll say. "Pull up a fruit leather, and let's see if we can't make this right."
Apricot Pecan Tea Cake
This recipe was inspired by, and adapted from, the Chewy Brown Sugar Date Walnut Loaf in The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. I made several swaps, including apricots for dates and pecans for walnuts. The coconut adds moisture and sweetness (I halved the brown sugar called for in the original recipe), but its flavor is subtle, so coconut non-fans may not even know it's there.
Makes 1 loaf
1-1/3 cups (packed) diced dried apricots (about 6-1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into rough chunks
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Combine the apricots, brown sugar, coconut, butter chunks, and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the butter melts, remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. Using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, give a few quick stirs. The mixture will foam up like a crazy science experiment. It's really, really foamy. Scrape into a mixing bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the vanilla, both flours, egg, pecans, and salt and mix well (by hand) to combine. Scrape into the prepared pan. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until the cake is set and a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the sides to loosen, and unmold onto a rack. Cool completely, then slice and serve.