(Adapted from David Lebovits as adapted from Susan Loomis.)
- 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 rounded teaspoon sea salt
- 1 rounded teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 7 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces Gruyère. Emmental cheese works great too, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- grated zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a loaf pan generously. David suggests lining it with parchment paper and buttering the paper but I found this unnecessary with my heavy duty loaf pan.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Mix in the black pepper. (I added a couple shakes of cayenne too.)
3.Whisk the eggs by hand in a large bowl until frothy and then stir in the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix. Mix in the melted butter well and then fold in the apricots, cheese, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and finally, the almonds. Obviously you can go crazy on your add-ins here but I found this combination to be sublime.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread rest for five minutes and then remove it from the pan and set on a cooling rack to cool. Cut into slices and serve with Calvados.
(I think she would have preferred the apricot-lemon cake with her Calvados too. )