This cake tastes best when baked one day ahead. Like many European pastry recipes, this one requires the weighing of ingredients, which is no harder, and far more accurate, than measuring by volume.
Equipment: A kitchen scale
No-stick vegetable spray
3 eggs, plus 1
Note: the amount of sugar, butter and flour depend on the weight of the eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from 1/3 of a lemon
5 or 6 peaches, nectarines, plums or other summer fruit, skinned, pitted and sliced thin
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with no-stick spray.
Using a kitchen scale, weigh 3 eggs and record their weight. Reserve the eggs.
Using the scale, measure out amounts of sugar, butter and flour equal to the weight of the 3 eggs and place all 3 ingredients in separate bowls. (For instance, if the 3 eggs weigh 1/2 pound, then measure out 1/2 pound each of sugar, butter and flour.)
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. One at a time, add all 4 eggs, mixing well after each addition.
Add the flour, vanilla and lemon zest, mixing until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Gently place sliced fruit on the surface of the batter, covering it completely. Place fruit end to end with no spaces between. You can use more than one kind of fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The batter may swell over some of the fruit. Cool to room temperature. Cut into squares.
Yield: 24 squares