The Verdict

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:

Plum Cake

  • 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)
  1.  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.
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

All that remained of the Plum Cake

All that remained of the Plum Cake

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