2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved (about 1 pound)
To make sponge cake ring: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat an ovenproof ring mold with a 6- to 7-cup capacity with cooking spray. Dust the mold with flour, shaking out the excess.
Sift cake flour and baking soda into a bowl. Beat eggs and egg whites together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add 1 cup sugar and beat on medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and the flour mixture with the mixer on low speed just until the flour is incorporated. Beat in the hot milk.
Transfer the batter to the prepared mold. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Invert onto a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling and glaze.
To prepare fruit filling and glaze: Stir 1/2 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in apricot brandy (or orange juice). Pour half of the syrup into a small bowl, cover and set aside to cool.
Add butter to the syrup remaining in the saucepan, stirring until the butter has melted. Brush some of this glaze over the bottom and sides of the cake. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and brush the top of the cake with the remaining glaze. Cover and leave at room temperature until serving time.
Combine fruit and the reserved cooled syrup in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. Just before serving, fill the center of the cake with the fruit filling. Spoon any syrup remaining in the bowl over the fruit.
Equipment: 6- to 7-cup ring mold or 9-inch tube pan