One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Friday, October 9, 2009

Italian Plum Cake

It's a pretty modest Italian plum season here in Dallas, Texas. I saw them in the market one week, and the next week they were just about gone, with no hopes of showing up again for another year. When I can find them, though, my first thoughts go to the Italian Plum Cake my mother makes. It's an easy little dessert, slightly different from most plum cakes. The batter is thick and rich, the little plums are quartered and placed vertically into the cake batter, like little soldiers, then a generous sugary topping is spread between the plum quarters. The batter rises to meet the tops of the plums, moist and rich, and the topping becomes a sugary crust, perfectly counterbalancing the tartness of the plums. It's my favorite plum cake. Thanks, Mom!

Italian Plum Cake

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
10 - 12 Italian plums

1/4 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 2 quart baking dish (9-inch x 9-inch glass baking dish works well here.)

Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add in egg; mix well. Add flour, baking powder, milk, vanilla, and salt. Put batter into prepared baking dish, spreading evenly into dish.

Wash and quarter plums, lengthwise, discarding stems and seeds. Stand quartered plums in cake. (I usually place them about half-inch to one inch apart, but you can use as many plums
as you like and not worry about how close or far apart they are.)

Mix the topping ingredients. Strew around top of cake, over and between plums. Bake 1 hour.


chow and chatter said...

oh wow looks amazing and now i know where u live

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Wow, not only does that look delicious, but your photographs are AMAZING. If we could reach through our computer screens, I'd be helping myself to that treat right this minute!


Sheila :-)

Cathy said...

I saw these plums at the market last week. I hope I can find some tomorrow. What a beautiful little cake, Lori. The topping looks wonderful, sugary and juicy.

Linda said...

This looks absolutely beautiful Lori!
I only had Italian plums here once this fall...and that was it...
I must look for some this weekend!
Gorgeous pic!

Unknown said...

Lawsy mercy! That looks wonderful and I'm like Shelia, I wish I could reach through the screen and get a taste right now. I'll have to try this.
Happy Twirls
By the way, we have a French Wine Set GIVEAWAY if you are interested.

Thibeault's Table said...

Lori, I'm so glad that you posted your mom's recipe for her plum cake. That has to be the best looking plum cake I've seen. I love the topping.

Cucinista said...

Ooh, I love that cake. I have some late plums also and was just wondering what to do with them...

Foodiewife said...

I absolutely adore Italian Prunes (plums). Fortunately, they are still available where I live. I bought 30 pounds of them! Yes, I did! I made plum compote and canned it, plum galette and I will make an authentic Bavarian plum tart this week. I really like your version, so I will bookmark this one as one more way to enjoy the ONLY plum I like. How I wish I could grow them!

Barbara said...

Wonderful recipe! Think I just have to put vanilla ice cream on it though!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Last year I made plum upside down cake but the recipe called for so much butter you could hardly taste the fruit. I grew up with an Italian plum tree so I always jump up and down and giggle when I find them.

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