Friday, July 16, 2010

Plums a Plenty

I decicded to turn the wild number of plums (pictured are about 1/10 of the amount) I picked the other day into Red Plum Cake. The taste-testing crew (includes Mr. Fabulous) revealed it, "wildy delicious." If you don't have plums, summer peaches work with equally great results. This is a yeast cake that requires a one hour rising time.

Red Plum Cake

1¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided use
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup hot water
1 egg, room temperature

In a large bowl combine ½ cup flour, sugar, salt and un-dissolved yeast. Add butter and beat with an electric mixer for a few seconds on medium speed. Gradually add hot water, continuing to beat for 2 minutes on medium speed while scraping sides of bowl. Add egg and ½ cup flour; switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl. Stir in remaining ¾ cup flour; mix until well blended.

Canola oil for round pan
1½ cups fresh, ripe plums (about 2 medium), peeled and chopped

Lightly coat a 9-inch round pan with oil; spread batter into pan. (Batter will be thick and sticky so don’t be concerned if you can’t spread it evenly. The rising process will evenly distribute the mixture.) Top the batter with chopped plums.

3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup plum preserves, topping (post-baking)

In a small bowl combine sugar and cloves; sprinkle over plums. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in bulk; about 1 hour.

Red Plum Cake before rising
Red Plum Cake after rising
About one hour later …

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake cake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before carefully transferring cake to a serving platter.

Heat plum preserves in a small saucepan over low heat. Spoon warm preserves evenly over cake. Yield: 8 servings.