Plum Cake

I’m looking forward to harvesting lots of beautiful sweet purple plums this summer from the tree in my garden – it’s laden this year, and with that will come the delightful August challenge of what to do with them. We’ll eat some straight off the tree – picture juice dripping down our chins! I’ll make chutneys, conserves and all sorts of lovely desserts, then freeze the rest, pitted and sliced. Last year we enjoyed plum sorbet, plum jam and this delicious plum cake, invented by my daughter. The plums add a touch of vibrant colour and create a wonderful moist texture.

As I write (June 2020), my frozen 2019 harvest is still going strong, so this cake has been a favourite during ‘lockdown’. Now that we can have a bit of ‘two metre distant’ socialising with friends and family, I look forward to being able to share this wonderful plum cake with loved ones and neighbours.

Serve plum cake with thick yoghurt, double cream, vanilla ice cream or plum sorbet.

This recipe is suitable for TM6, TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 1 ¼ HOURS

MAKES 12-16 SLICES

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Ingredients

  • 200 g wholemeal flour or gluten free baking flour blend
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 75 g + 1 tsp fine cornmeal – see 1st three tips
  • 175 g unsalted butter, cut in 2 cm pieces, plus 1 tsp, or coconut oil
  • 200 g unrefined cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs (4 if using GF flour)
  • 100 g milk or buttermilk or non-dairy milk
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 300 g fresh or frozen plums, pits removed, sliced if large or halved if small
  • 1 tsp baking powder or gluten free baking powder

Method

  1. Grease sides of a round 20 cm diameter x 6 cm deep cake tin with 1 tsp butter and line base with greaseproof paper.
  2. Grind flour 1 min/speed 10.
  3. Add cinnamon, allspice, sea salt, 75 g cornmeal, 175 g butter, sugar, eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla, then mix 20 sec/speed 4.
  4. Scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula and mix again 10 sec/speed 4. Set TM bowl aside for batter to rest 6 hours or overnight – see 4th tip; meanwhile defrost plums if frozen.
  5. Sprinkle baking powder over top of cake batter and mix 10 sec/speed 3, then pour half of batter into cake tin and arrange half of sliced plums on top. Repeat with remaining cake batter and plums, then sprinkle 1 tsp cornmeal evenly over top.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C without fan/160°C with fan/350°F/gas 4/Aga baking oven, then bake cake approx. 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in tin, then transfer from tin to a cake plate, slice and serve.

Janie’s Tips

  1. I prefer to use organic GMO-free cornmeal and unrefined cane sugar – both help create excellent flavour.
  2. Dry polenta or masa harina can be used instead of fine corn meal.
  3. Medium corn meal can be used, however fine corn meal gives a better cake texture.
  4. If you need your TM bowl for other recipes, transfer cake mixture to a bowl at end of step 4, cover and set aside to rest. In step 5, baking powder can be mixed into cake batter with a whisk by hand until evenly distributed throughout.
  5. This cake is vegetarian.
  6. For gluten free (GF), use 4 large eggs instead of 3, use GF flour, GF cornmeal, and GF baking powder – read ingredient labels to ensure all your other ingredients are gluten free too.
  7. For dairy free (DF), use a non-dairy milk and use coconut oil instead of butter (for cake and for greasing) – read ingredient labels to ensure all your other ingredients are dairy free too.
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