As a novice cake baker, I've been wanting to try this ultra simple recipe for the longest time. Being in a non-sugar-eating household, I didn't get a chance until a friend's birthday came up a few weeks ago, and I volunteered to bring the cake to the party. The cake was a hit with everyone (actually there were 3 birthdays celebrated at the party, and my cake being the only homemade one might have been part of the reason).
I was worried about using out of season fruit, but the cake had a wonderful peachy plummy aroma as it baked, and even hours later when it was cool enough to pipe on melted chocolate lettering.
My only problem is that being inexperienced, I painstakingly laid the fruit in a pretty pattern, completely oblivious to the reality that the cake would rise over all the fruit and hide my precious work of art. I think some of the fruit even sunk, if that was possible (see edge of plum poking out at the 6 o'clock position in last photo). But in the end, after I piped the lettering on top I realized it looked more like a bday cake this way than if there was fruit all over the top.
I'm wondering, doesn't this cake, unlike galleygirl's pear tart, normally NOT rise over the fruit? It certainly rose a lot more than Carb Lover's 2 previous Sir Gawain Cake forays (the fig one and the just peaches one). My only guess is it's because I used an extra-large egg instead of the usual large size (I only had XL on hand). Otherwise, I followed Sir Gawain's recipe to a T, using regular sugar and whole milk.
Oh, I just remembered, I had the problem of my convection oven browning the edges too soon. I used a pie crust cover thingee to cover the edge for the remaining bake time. You can see the pie cover smooshed my cake a bit in the 3 o'clock position :-p.