First of all, I’d like to apologize for taking such a long hiatus from posting. Things just seemed to get really busy – Matt sprained his ankle while climbing (its much better now), coordinating things for my new job, we were in Austin, TX for 5 days for a wedding, then I was trying to catch up once we got back, the garden needed a lot of work, etc. I will do my best to get back to 1x a week though! I also realized I have yet to post a dessert recipe on this blog – which seems odd given that we’re definitely a household of desserts. But I think this one will be a perfect first!
Last summer, we were inspired to plant a plum tree by our friends Zach and Heather. We were lucky enough to indulge in some of their tree’s harvest (several plum crisps worth), and it was so delicious that I decided I wanted a plum tree too! The blossoms came in March/April, and then the little green plums starting showing up – hard to believe that was four months ago. We got a respectable amount of plums for our first harvest – perhaps 30? And they ripened over ~two weeks so I wasn’t too overwhelmed.
I made a few desserts with the plums, although there were never quite enough to make something like a crisp or cobbler. One of the better recipes I found was for a tender cake flecked with orange and topped with plum halves tucked into the batter. The original recipe called for lemon zest, but I only had an orange on hand, which probably made the cake slightly sweeter. Our plums are a little on the tart side, and they got even tarter when cooked, so I think a different variety might be better. This could also probably work with other stone fruits – nectarines, peaches, cherries?
Dimply Plum Cake
1 1/2 cups flour (I used a mix of all purpose and whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
5 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
grated zest of one orange (original recipe calls for lemon zest)
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 plums, halved and pitted
Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8×8 baking pan flour the bottom and sides, and set aside. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer if you own one), cream the butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs, beating well, then the oil, orange zest and vanilla. Reduce speed and add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, and mix only until just incorporated.
Pour the batter in the prepared dish, smooth top, and arrange the plums on top, cut side up. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is brown with the plums set well into the cake.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes (the juices of the plums will get sucked back into the fleshy parts of the fruit) before loosening the edges of the cake with a knife and inverting the cake on a baking rack. Return the cake to face up and cool the rest of the way.
Original recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours