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


  1. 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.
  2. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, and smooth tops. Arrange plums, cut sides up, over batter.
  3. 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.