This is a delicately flavoured citrus sponge cake, topped with sticky sugared nectarines and just a hint of basil. I made it gluten free this time, but it can be baked with normal plain flour if you prefer, and take out the ground almonds if you have a nut allergy. Fresh tasting and light, this pretty cake tastes scrummy with any juicy plums, peaches or nectarines circling the top.
4 nectarines, cored, halved and thinly sliced
170g gluten-free mix self-raising flour (I use Dove's Farm gluten-free)
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
2 tsps grated lime peel
150g & 3 tbsps caster sugar
3 tbsp ground almonds
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 latge handful of fresh basil, torn or chopped finely, plus one sprig left whole for decoration
Grated peel of another lime, for decoration, optional
1. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan oven). Grease and line a 20cm round spring form cake tin.
2. Beat the butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add 150g of the sugar and beat until smooth.
3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then add the lime peel, lime juice, most of the basil and all ground almonds. Add the flour and mix until well combined.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the nectarine slices on top in concentric circles to cover the top of the cake and press them lightly into the batter.
5. Scatter the left over 3 tbsps sugar, evenly over the top of the cake.
6. Bake for approx 1 hour until golden. You'll know it's done when the top bounces back under your thumb and a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 15 mins before carefully cutting around the cake and placing it on to a plate or wire rack to cool further.
7. Sprinkle the grated lime over the top and place a sprig of basil in the middle. Serve at room temperature with tea, or while still warm with ice cream or cream as a dessert cake.
This cake was idly baked while listening to PJ Harvey's album To Bring You My Love