August 27, 2012

Spiced Plum Cake

Today: Lesson on Plums! I'm so talented, I can mix education and food! :)

I discovered something new at our farmer's market. A teeny little plum, red and green on the outside, and deep dark maroon on the inside.
I had never seen such a thing! They're the size of walnuts! Or maybe golfballs... somewhere in between. The man growing them was happy to teach me about them. These are called Satsuma Plums. They come from Japan, and are the ancestors of many plum varieties we know today, some of which are also called Satsumas, but these are the originals. He called them "The Great-Grandmother of Plums", and his wife told us, "These are the plums people used before they were supposed to be pretty." Not pretty?! I think they're gorgeous!! Apparently they are great cross-breeders, and their characteristics are dominant in their hybrid varieties. I guess that's like my boys looking just like their Dad, with very little of me in there... Anyway. That's all I know! I couldn't find much about them on the internet, how odd is that?

Can you believe the color on these things??
Of course, there was only one thing I could do with such beauties. Bake a CAKE! Some might have made jam, others might have just eaten them, I chose to bake with them for the very first time. And I am so glad I did. Stephen wasn't very excited, he couldn't believe that it could be anything special, but oh boy...

It was. 

Spiced Plum Cake (adapted slightly from The English Kitchen)
Printable Recipe

4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup caster (ultrafine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 Tb sour cream
pinch of salt
the grated zest of one lemon
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into wedges

6 Tb cold butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup caster (ultrafine) sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 10 inch cake tin with a removeable bottom (I used a cheesecake pan) Line with baking paper, butter the paper, and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla, and sour cream. Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together in a separate bowl and then add it to the wet ingredients, mixing it in well. Spread this batter in the bottom of the cake tin. (This batter is pretty thick, and my paper kept sliding around, so I held it down on one edge and spread it out with my fingers.) 

Spread the plums over top of the batter to within 1/2 inch of the edges. You could arrange them carefully in a  pretty circular pattern, but mine were teeny and I needed to get it in the oven!

To make the streusel, whisk together the sugar, flour and spices. Rub in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over top of the plums. There is lots of streusel, use it all!!

Bake on a middle rack for approximately 45-60 minutes until the streusel is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, before you remove the sides of the pan and the paper. Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream. (Or clotted cream, if you are one of those lucky British people I envy so much!!)
Mmmm, the streusel. Let's start with that. It's crunchy and spicy and warm and holiday-ish... I was sure the streusel itself would win Stephen over, he loves the stuff! 
But it's that beautiful little ribbon of ruby plums that got me. They almost taste like raspberries! They're sweet, and sunny, and tangy, and they practically turn themselves to jam in this cake!
How's that for mouthwatering??
Stephen's version of an "action shot"...
The cake part is scrumptious too. The tiniest bit of lemon to set off the plums, it's light and buttery, and even though my crust was a tad overdone, it tasted like shortbread. I love it. This cake is a new favorite, and so are these plums. See if you can find some in your area!
It's a good thing I am forced to get rid of share most of it, this stuff is dangerous!!

Shared at On the Menu MondayTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Cast Party Wednesdays!


  1. Did you ever discover the plums I shoved in your freezer last July? We have a variety of those just outside our front door, but I was a loser, and just juiced them for jam. There's over a gallon of the stuff in the freezer, waiting to be made into jam. It's really tart stuff, so I hope it will be the Eastern competitor for Chokecherry.

  2. April, what beautiful plums!! I have never seen any that deep a red colour on the inside. How fabulous. I bet they were really sweet. This is one of my favorite plum cake recipes. I haven't made one in a long time. I should bake one soon. Right now I have a Banana snacking cake in the oven. It smells heavenly. What would we do without cake?? Life just woulnd't be the same. I just know there is cake in heaven . . . AND chocolate too! xxoo

  3. I LOVE plums; they're probably my favorite fruit! But would you believe I've never baked with them before? I've also never seen Satsuma plums. The cake you baked them into looks gorgeous, and my mouth is watering!

  4. That recipe looks delicious and guess what? My mom grows those plums! She was just visiting and brought me a million of them. I just eat them all up!:)

  5. Love your recipe! Please come over to Cast Party Wednesday and share it with us. Thanks, I hope to see you there! ~Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain~


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