Here is something to do with the abundance of prune plums at the markets. Plum kuchen is a simple, one bowl cake topped with plums and I think it may be the original coffee cake. There are many versions for this recipe. Some are made with yeast, others are similar to tarts and still others look like a crumble. I think originally plum kuchen was made with yeast dough and it is a worthwhile undertaking, but takes a little longer to prepare. Many cultures claim it as their own, from Germans to Jewish to Bavarians and other Eastern Europeans but this is the beauty of food, it crosses cultural and political boundaries and connects us like nothing else.
This is the first time I made this with vanilla yogurt because, you know, that’s what I had on hand. It turned out pretty good and moist, half the cake is already gone and it’s only been a few hours since I made it.
The recipe makes a 9″ round cake but I divided the dough between an 8″ pan and a smaller 6″ paper pan so I could give one to my neighbours.
This is a good cake to serve as a coffee cake with a little powdered sugar sifted on top or you can make it more dessert-like with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s also good with lightly sweetened creme fraiche if you have that on hand. Once cooked the cake is moist throughout with a top layers of baked plums, quite pretty.
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
A pinch salt
1 stick + 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla yogurt (or use sour cream)
6 prune plums, cut in wedges
Have all the ingredients ready on the counter (it’s called mis en place, or put in place, and is a good habit to develop as you cook and bake).
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Butter or oil-spray a round 9″ cake pan with a removable bottom (see note above).
Combine flour cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
Place the butter in another bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the sugar and continue mixing until it is well incorporated with the butter.
Add eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla.
Add the flour alternating with the yogurt and mix until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Arrange the plum wedges in a concentric design on top of the batter.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of the cake and scatter 2 tablespoons of butter cut in small pieces over.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a knife you insert into the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan before removing.
Serve warm or at room temperature.