Grandma's PLUM CAKE

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Grandma's PLUM CAKE

¾ cup sugar
½ cup, 1 stick, unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 pitted Italian prune plums, halved and pitted, or 3-4 sweet red or purple plums pitted, cut into ½” to 1 inch slices
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, optional but delicious

Make the cake:
        Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease whatever pan you are using well with butter. If using a springform, you might want to wrap the bottom with foil as well.
        Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about a minute. Fit a strainer over a medium size bowl, and sift the flour, baking powder, salt. Add the dry mixture and the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture and beat well.
        Spoon dollops of the batter into the chosen pan, 9” round or 9” x 13” rectangular pan and spread it evenly to cover the bottom. Place the fruit on top of the batter, prune plum halves skin side down. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the fruit. You may not need all of it. You also may opt to use less if the fruit is already very sweet. Evenly drizzle the melted butter over all.
        Bake until the cake is browned and puffed around the fruit and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. For a 9” round pan, it will take about 60-65 minutes. For a 9 x 13 about 30-35 minutes. Cool to just warm, and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, and if you like, whipped cream or ice cream. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

Makes 8 servings.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Any fresh seasonal fruit can be used. Instead of the plums, try sliced apples, nectarines, peaches, blueberries or raspberries. Use about 24-30 slices of fruit cut about ½”-1” thick, or 4 cups berries total. Or, mix them up. Use wider slices on top of the 9” round pan—bake time about an hour or so-- and thinner slices for the 9 x 13---bakr time about 30 minutes.
2. Make two. The second one, which you’ll want when the thermometer dives, will freeze really well for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it tightly, label and date it. Defrost the cake overnight in the fridge or at room temp, and reheat in a 300 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
3. Flours can easily be switched up. I like using 1/4 cup cornmeal and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour for a more Italian take with a little satisfying crunch in the cake.
4. Depending on the shape of the pan you choose, you can lay the fruit out in a pretty circular pattern , starting from the outside and moving in, or layer them in neat rows.