Top | Cakes and Muffins
Stone Fruit Financiers
(recipe, Caroline Cummins)
These buttery tea cakes are a French classic. Sara Perry has a version here on Culinate. David Lebovitz likes his topped with fresh blackberries, while Martha Stewart suggests using fresh puréed raspberries.
Because almonds are a stone fruit, I like to top these cakes with the nuts' summertime relatives: fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, or cherries. Out of season, you can use frozen fruit or even jam instead.
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 cup almond meal (see Note)
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 5 large egg whites
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 1 generous cup fresh stone fruit, such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, or cherries, diced (about 1 large peach, or 3 Italian prune plums)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or line with paper or silicone cupcake liners) a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling the pan frequently for several minutes until the butter has melted and turned a rich golden brown. Remove from the heat.
- Put the almond meal, flour, sugars, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Blend them together on low speed. With the motor running, gradually add the egg whites and the almond extract. Pour in the warm butter (leave the dark milk solids in the saucepan) and mix on medium speed until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Drop several pieces of diced fruit into the center of each cup.
- Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the cakes are puffy and the edges are browned. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the tin on a rack, then unmold the cakes out onto the rack to finish cooling.
- Serve warm or cool. These cakes are best served the day they are made, but will still be tasty the next day or so if kept in a tightly covered container at room temperature.
If you can't find almond meal at the grocery store, buy sliced blanched almonds instead. Toast them lightly in a skillet, then put them in a food processor and grind them into a fine meal.
Don't be tempted to use frozen fruit or berries in these cakes; the fruit's colder temperature will significantly lengthen the baking time.