Thursday, September 27, 2012
My discovery for the year is plums. I know. You'd think I'd have discovered them before now. They always seemed kind of squishy and oozy, overly sweet and messy to boot. But this year? They are tangy and sweet at the same time. They yield perfectly to my teeth, not too firm and not too soft. They are the Baby Bear and Goldilocks of fruit.
My friend Cindy gave me a huge bag of them from her tree and I've been eating them in smoothies, out of hand, and for dinner, in this wonderful cake. Elizabeth gave me the recipe last year when I had it at her house and I've been waiting since then for the annual plum-bundance to make it. Ok, so I may have discovered cooked plums last year. Fresh ones are definitely a this year thing.
It's a simple yellow cake baked in a regular cake pan. I kinda changed the recipe, by accident. Elizabeth had written 1/2 a pound of butter which to my mind seemed like a lot of butter, so surely that must be 2 sticks. Not wanting to waste precious time with thinking I used twice as much butter as the recipe called for. It was fine. More is More, right? I also added vanilla. You press the plums into the batter after it's in the pan and they settle into it as it cooks. OMG it is good. I had a piece for breakfast the next day. It's important to eat fruit for breakfast.
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature (or two, depending on your level of attention)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
12 italian plums, halved with pits removed (duh)
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Add the vanilla. More beating. Add the dry ingredients. Elizabeth said to sift but as we know Mrs. Bentley never sifts.
Put the batter in a greased 9" pan. It won't pour, at least not if you use 2x the butter called for, so plop it in and smooth it out. Then put the plums on top, skin side up. I just made sure that the surface was mostly covered. They sink so you don't have to worry about a pretty pattern.
Sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon sugar. Don't be parsimonious with the sugar, it makes a nice crisp topping.
Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350.
The dilemma I had was that it was so pretty on top I didn't want to flip it like an upside down cake and it wasn't going to hold up to any rough un-molding. I served it in the pan, but I think next time I might try a spring form.