Published July 1, 2007.
Rustic plum cake should be an ideal showcase for summer-ripe plums, but it is often dry and short on fruit flavor.
Plum cake can be anything from an Alsatian tart to a German yeasted bread. In most recipes, the plums either sink into the cake and create a sodden center or they are sliced too thinly to contribute a lot of flavor.
We wanted an easy-to-make cake with a hefty plum presence.
After initial testing, we settled on the concept of a creamed cake batter spread in a springform pan, topped with plums, and baked. To create a rich, moist cake that was strong enough to hold the plums aloft, we replaced some of the flour with almonds. The ground nuts introduced strength and additional flavor, and we also found that we didn’t need to cream the almond-enhanced batter, as it was sturdy enough to be mixed in the food processor used to grind the nuts. As for the fruit, while we liked the Italian plums that are especially well-suited for baking, we found their season to be too short to be practical. Poaching our common supermarket plums (and Italian plums when we could find them) in a few tablespoons of jam and brandy, as well as their own juice, sufficiently heightened their flavor and kept them moist, even after a spell in the oven.list of recipes