Sunday, July 20, 2008

Plum Cake: Seasonal and Simple

With guests coming over for dinner last week on short notice, we were suddenly scrambling for a dessert. The only ingredient of interest in the fridge or pantry was plums, succulent California red plums. But not many of them. We adapted the super-easy 'Norwegian' apple cake recipe of my sister-in-law from Vermont and used our plums in it. I recalled doing that once before for some student friends. The result was so good, again, that I wanted to get it on the web log.

Though incredibly simple and actually low in calories (no shortening), this is a rich dessert. None of the four of us dining that night needed extra calories, so we had the plum cake straight up. When we served it to those college kids last year, we topped it, to their strong approval, with Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream would also have worked. But as is or garnished with a topping, this is one fine dessert.

Easy Plum Cake Libbet/Christina/Tim

With cooking spray or butter, grease a 9-inch pie dish, preferably glass or ceramic
Heat oven to 350 degrees

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 medium plums, dark skinned preferred
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds or coarsely chopped pecans

Combine the dry ingredients. Rinse and wipe the plums dry, but do not peel. Cut them off the pits, and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch chunks. Mix these into the dry ingredients. Lightly beat the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl, then stir them into the fruit and dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with almonds or pecans.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the middle bounces back when you touch it. Cool, and serve alone or topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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