Fresh Plum Cake.
My kids love to be in the kitchen. I don't blame them! The aromas wafting from the oven are hard to beat! There's not another room I'd rather be in...
The other morning we woke up and shuffled downstairs to our usual summer morning routine. A couple cartoons while mommy shakes off the sleep...oatmeal or scrambled eggs. Then we stare at each other and in unison ask, "What are we going to do today?" Sometimes its the pool. Sometimes the park and bike riding. This particular day the munchkins wanted to BAKE!
We didn't even bother changing out of our jammies or brushing our hair. We headed straight for the pantry to assess our options. Chocolate chips? No. Shredded coconut? No. Peanut butter? No. What was this kitchen coming to??? All the essential elements for our favorite go-to treats were missing! We took a breath, regrouped and pulled out an old cookbook.
Ah-Ha! Here we go, a fresh plum cake. We had plums. We had butter, sugar and flour. We were on our way to greatness!
Plenty of "kiddy treats" make their debut at our house. You know the kind, rice crispy treat variations, cookies decorated like zoo animals, candy suspended in jello. You should see some of the things we crank out around Halloween! But it's nice to teach children some classic, and slightly more sophisticated recipes. They pick them up quickly and appear to enjoy them just as much! Plus, these are recipes they can take with them throughout life--a spring board to greater meals and ideas! A little token of mommy. Why, just the other day my little girl was whipping up some imaginary souffles! It brought a tear to my eye...sniff, sniff.
This particular cake is great for summer stone-fruits such as plums, peaches and apricots. A rustic, yet elegant cake that needs no cream or sauce to perfect it! The plums add a juicy tang to this dense buttery cake, so it's flavorful enough to stand alone. That makes it a perfect dessert to take to a BBQ or party. This is just the kind of dessert I'd wrap up and put in my picnic basket for an evening concert at the park. No hassle, big impact!
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Desserts, from the New Healthy Kitchen Series.
Fresh Plum Cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (7 oz.)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (could use shortening)
1 cup sugar + 1 Tb.
2 extra-large eggs (or 2 large + 1 egg white)
Preheat the oven to 350* F. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the bottom disk of an 8-9 inch spring-form pan. Fasten the ring around the disk with the parchment paper secured in between. Cut off the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice.
In the electric mixer, cream 1 cup of sugar with the butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix again.
Can you tell which one is my methodical recipe-follower, and which is my spatula-licking prankster??? Excuse our mess in the background...how embarrassing!
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Slice the plums into eighths. The easiest way I’ve found to do this, is to run a knife around the plum to half it, then do the same to quarter it. Split each quarter in half. Then the little sections should pop off the pit with your knife. Place the plum slices around the top of the cake in a pretty pattern—make sure they are close together. Sprinkle 1 Tb. of sugar and the remaining ¼ tsp of pumpkin pie spice over the plums.
Bake for 50-55 minutes—until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Make SURE not to over bake! Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and another 10 minutes out of the pan before serving!
Serves 8-12. * Try with fresh summer peaches, nectarines or apricots!