Tonight’s dinner was a hard act to follow. The Rib Eye steak was barbecued to a perfect medium-rare. The asparagus-mushroom medley was deliciously doused in what I can only assume was a butter sauce. And the thinly sliced potato-bake was a perfect way to blow my daily carb intake.
So when it came time for dessert, I hoped my plum cake wouldn’t disappoint. And judging by the empty plates and collective ‘yums,’ I think it hit the spot!
The cake wasn’t overly sweet, despite the brown and white sugar in the recipe. The lemon zest and fresh plums delivered a pleasant tartness, with undertones of sweet. Martha called for a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar over the cake prior to serving. I didn’t. This was partially because I thought the cake looked fine the way it was, and partially because I forgot.
The cake was pretty moist, aided by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of Miracle Whip. My favourite element of the dessert was the aesthetic created by the rich redness of the plum bleeding into the surrounding cake.
So all in all, I think Martha’s plum cake was a success. And even if I had completely botched the recipe, we also brought an emergency bumbleberry pie from a local bakery – just in case!
Here’s the recipe from Everyday Food, with my minor changes:
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temp., plus more for pan
- 1 ½ plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup sour cream (not low fat)
- 3 plums, halved, pitted and then cut into sixteenths
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (if you remember!)
- Ice cream and/or whipped cream for serving (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 8-inch pan and line bottom with a round of parchment. (I used a spring form pan) In a large bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda and salt.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporate; beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in ½ flour mixture, then sour cream. Add remaining flour mixture, mix just until combined.
- Spread batter into pan and smooth top with a knife. In bowl, toss plums with 2 tablespoons flour. Arrange the plums as desired over the batter.
- Bake until cake is golden, about 30 minutes. Loosely “tent,” or place, tinfoil over the cake pan and bake for another 35-40, until cake tester can be inserted into center and come out clean. Let cake cool completely in pan. Remove. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Calorie-Count: 314 calories, based on 10 servings. So, not too bad!