Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plum Cake

One of the characters in a book I loved to read as a child was named Plum Tucker. The name sounded so full in the mouth; full of sugar, plums, and spices. So I found this plum cake recipe on and it has exactly the same feel in the mouth.
Laying out the plum slices on top of the batter

Cutting in the flour to make the topping

Hot from the oven in the Teeny Tiny Kitchen

Ready for slicing

Plum Cake
Plum Cake
I made some changes to the original recipe. The pan size was 8x11 but as that was not an available option in the Teeny Tiny Kitchen, I used a 9 inch square glass dish instead. I reduced the plums from 2 pounds to 1 pound and found that I had about 2/3 of a plum left over. Each prune plum was approximately 2-3 inches long. 
Have at room temperature:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound plums (about 5), pitted, halved, quartered, and cut into eighths
Cinnamon, for dusting

Topping (The original recipe said this was optional, I say it's required!)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup flour (increased from 1/4 cup in the original recipe)

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour one 9-inch square glass baking dish.

In a large bowl, cream the 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition until just combined. Add vanilla. Scape down the sides. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating after each addition until just combined. Scrape down the sides.

Scrape batter into the prepared dish. Gently press the plum slices into the top of the batter in rows. Sprinkle the top liberally with cinnamon. In the same large bowl and using the same beaters (no need to wash), cream the 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar. Add the cinnamon. Cut in the 1/2 cup flour by hand. I pinched off bits of the batter to distribute evenly on top of the plums.

Bake 55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. There may be some moisture on the tester because of the plums. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

The top is slightly crusty because of the butter-sugar topping. Serve with coffee or tea, or eat it with ice cream or whipped cream as a dessert.

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