Plum Buttermilk Cake with Walnuts
Plums are in season and there all kinds of types and colours available at the market. I like baking with prune plums and have been waiting their arrival with anticipation. Finally they were at the market on my last visit (everything is late here) so I bought a bunch and have been having fun with them in the kitchen. I made plum jam, plum butter, plum sauce, plum fruit soup, plum pizza, plum muffins and now a plum cake. I had to try and empty the fridge because I am going to Kelowna this weekend and cannnot take “stuff” with me this time (see my post on A Foodie Packs to go on Vacation). So, I have been preserving, pickling, baking and making all kinds of salads and vegetable dishes and so far no one is complaining around here.
This is a particularly easy recipe for a plum cake, no mixer necessary and you can mix everything by hand in one bowl (I like to cook but doing dishes, not so much). I bake this cake in a 9″ springform pan so I can remove it from the pan and place on a cake plate. I made a little plum sauce to go with it but whipped cream or simply ice cream is just as good. Try and arrange the plums in a circular pattern on top of the cake to make it look pretty. I cut them into quarters and lay the pieces on their side on the batter. The batter will puff up around them so they will shift but this is a comfy dessert so that’s okay, nothing formal. Also, I have been using self rising cake flour lately because I bought a bag and want to use it. If you don’t have self rising flour then add 1 teaspoon baking powder per cup of flour. And yes, the crumb you see on the plate above is known as “soil” in culinary circles. It’s like a cookie crumb. I make it and keep in the freezer and sprinkle it on “stuff” when I am inspired. Professional kitchens always have it on hand but I think it was brought into popular consciousness by the fabulous (and young) pastry chef Christina Tosi at Momofuku’s Milk Bar in the Big Apple. Ever since I read her book I have been keeping the various “soils” in the freezer. The one I make is more like “sand” than “soil”. See recipe below.
Well, here is the recipe:
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon ground walnuts
1/2 cup oil or 1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
12-14 plums, quartered, pits removed
1 tablespoon sugar
Pour oil (or butter) into a large bowl. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Add buttermilk and stir.
Add flour, baking soda, salt and walnuts to the egg mixture and stir with a spatula until blended.
Pour batter into a 9″ springform pan (you can spray the pan with non-stick spray).
Arrange the plum quarters on top of the batter in a concentric design.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the plums.
Bake at 350℉ about 25-35 minutes or until done.
2 cups plums, halves and pitted
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Combine plums, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook until plums are broken down and mixture is juicy.
Keep cooking until the plum sauce thickens a bit and become syrupy.
Use immediately or keep refrigerated in a glass jar until needed.
1 cup flour
1 cup graham crumbs
1/2 cup milk powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
Combine flour, crumbs, milk powder and sugar in a food processor and mix.
Add melted butter and process until crumbly. If it seems dry add an other 1/4 cup butter, melted.
Spread the mixture on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350℉ until golden.
Let cool completely and then place in a food processor in batches and process until crumbly.
Keep well sealed in the freezer.