Recipe by Lan, Mother of our wonderful member Duyen Kauffman
2 Tbs. almond paste
10 apricots or apriums, halved
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
10 cherries, pitted & halved
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
Put a small amount of almond paste in the cavity of each apricot half. Melt 1/4 cup of the butter with the brown sugar in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. When the sugar has melted, turn off the heat.
Spread the mixture evenly around the bottom of the pan. Then place the apricots, stuffed side up, in a ring around the edge of the pan. Use the smaller halves to fill the center and place the cherries decoratively in the gaps. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Cream the remaining butter with the sugar until light-colored and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and stir them into the batter, alternating with the sour cream or buttermilk. Do not over mix the better!
Distribute the batter over the fruits and place in the middle of the oven until the cake has risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
Let the cake rest for a few minutes, then set a serving platter over the pan. Grasp both the serving platter and pan firmly with both hands and carefully flip the whole thing over. Everything should fall neatly on the plate. If any fruit sticks to the pan, just remove it and lay it on the cake where it belongs.