Monday, August 12, 2013

cinnamon-sugar plum cake.

This cake will probably not be winning any beauty contests any time soon.  There are far too many gorgeous plum cake and tart specimens out there, cakes with perfectly layered rings of sliced purple or yellow plums. But, what this cake lacks for in the looks department it more than makes up for in the taste department.  This is a homey cake, the kind of thing you serve after a meal of farmer's market produce.  The cake is as simple as can be with a light and subtly spiced taste which allows for the plums to steal the show.  As the cake bakes, the plums practically melt to create a jammy layer of fruit.  The cinnamon sugar topping provides a little crunch which is the perfect textural contrast.  Served with a dollop of whipped cream of homemade vanilla ice cream and you have the perfect rustic summer dessert.  

Cinnamon-Sugar Plum Cake
Recipe adapted (barely) from Bon Appetit

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon ground ginger, divided
5 large plums (about 1 1/4 pounds), pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Whisk first 3 ingredients along with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ginger in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, then lemon juice and lemon peel, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Press plum wedges halfway into batter in concentric circles, spacing slightly apart. Mix remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and ginger in small bowl; sprinkle over plums. Bake until cake is browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cut around cake; release pan sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

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