It’s nearing the end of stone fruit season, which is good and bad. On the one hand it means autumn is coming and that makes me very happy. On the other, there won’t be any peaches, nectarines or plums at the fruit shop for another 8 months. That’s sad because stone fruit is synonymous with the beach and holidays. I have wanted to make a plum cake for so long and this week I was blessed with the opportunity. Plums were in abundance at the local supermarket and they were really cheap.
This plum cake is made mostly with almond meal which gives it a dense cake base. Also, using brown sugar means the cake batter is quite dark in colour. As the plums cook the oozy juices seep through the top of the cake batter making it sweet and sour all in the one go. I have to admit this is not the prettiest cake once it cools. The cake tends to separate from the plums, which makes it just a bit ugly. And it gets worse as the days go by. But as we know, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The solution is to eat it all in one day (not likely!) or serve it with a big dollop of cream to mask what hides beneath. But don’t be put off. This is a delicious cake that is well worth a try. If you don’t care what it looks like skip the cream – it really doesn’t need it.
This is actually a recipe for upside-down pear cake from the Women’s Weekly Masterclass – How to bake the perfect cake. So if you only have pears to hand, then stick to the original ( 1 large pear, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced). Whichever one you choose to make it will be delicious. Enjoy!
- 8 medium sized plums, halved and deseeded
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ¼ cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (220g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 185 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 35 grams plain flour
- 210 grams ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Grease a 22 cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Halve the plums, removing the stones. Place in a bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice.
- Combine the nuts and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the base of the cake tin and arrange the plums, cut side down, over the sugar.
- Beat the butter and remaining sugar in a bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla, flour and ground almonds and combine.
- Spoon the mixture over the plums and smooth the surface with a spatula.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
- Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack.
- Serve warm or cold with or without cream.