Sep 24 2010
The best way to eat plums
Last weekend I realized that it had been weeks since I had made anything fruit related. So, I went to Grand Army Plaza with a specific purpose in mind: to find a fruit that was looking especially delicious that day and then find a recipe for it. So, fruit first, recipe second. Let's live a little!
The farmers' market was full of peaches (still), grapes, apricots, apples, and plums. I filled a bag with plums and went home to figure out what to make. My cookbooks, even my trusted seasonal fruit dessert cookbook, failed me this time. Only a few had recipes for plums and I wasn't excited by the ones I found. So, I turned to various online recipe blogs and sites to see what I could find and luckily Martha Stewart (or at least her recipe creators) came through.
As soon as I found her open faced plum cake recipe, I knew I had a winner. And after I ate it, I'm not sure if there's ever a need to find another plum cake recipe. The sugar crunches and sweetens the caramelized plums. I'm not incredibly familiar with plums, as they're not my favorite stone fruit, but I can share that I preferred eating them baked with sugar than I do eating them plain. (Of course, I'd probably prefer eating anything baked with sugar.)
This recipe makes two small cakes. Justin and I devoured the first cake in about 2 minutes and nearly consumed the second cake. And if we had, I would have had no regrets. The ONLY thing stopping us was that it was 7 pm and we still had to eat dinner. That was the only reason. And besides, the plum cake made a wonderful Monday morning breakfast.
Open-Face Plum Cake
Courtesy of Martha Stewart
Makes two plum cakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
9-10 plums, halved and pitted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, the milk, oil, and egg. Fold into flour mixture.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, and smooth tops. Arrange plums, cut sides up, over batter.
- Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over plums. Dot with butter. Bake until tops are dark golden, plums are soft, and a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.