When I read other, already famous food blogs, I get very jealous these days. Most of them, like Orangette, Mowielicious, or Smitten Kitchen have already published their recipes for plum cake--the perfect fall dessert. And I still look at my recently made pictures and ideas and cannot decide which one I should share.
The only excuse for sitting on the fence for so long is that in Poland we probably have one of the richest collections of plum recipes in the world. We make many plum cakes, either with a yeast- or a baking powder-based crust. Some are soft and spongy, and some are crunchy. We also make potato dumplings with plums inside, which we serve with butter, cinamon, and sugar. (These are my favorite and I have to be restrained when I start eating them.) We prepare plums in cooked desserts, we make a plum jam spread, and preserve them in vinegar as meat accompaniment. We also make a Christmas soup with dried plums (prunes) and, like many other nations in that region, we also produce a plum vodka, called Slivovica.
There are also many different kinds of plums being cultivated in Poland, and when I think of what was growing in my family garden I could easily name at least five different types--tiny, yellow ones called Mirabelle, big and round, which here are called simply Black, oval and dark Italian or as we called them Hungarian (in various sizes), which are most popular for making preserves, round and pinkish as those that here are called Satsuma plums, and several others that I simply do not see anywhere else in the world.
I simply love them for their sweetness and the sophisticated, yet subtle taste, and their unlimited culinary uses.
My today's recipe was not the one that was most popular in my home, as we made mostly tarts with Italian plums (I will post a recipe for that in the future), but I finally decided on this cake, because it is very universal as any available kind of plums can be used to make it.
(For the 11'' baking tin)
All the ingredients should be in room temperature.
2 lb any ripe plums,
1 stick butter,
1 cup sugar for the cake and 3 tbsp for the topping,
1 2/3 cup flour,
1 tbsp corn starch,
2 tsp baking powder,
4-5 tbsp sour cream,
1 tbsp vanilla extract,
2 tbsp slivered almonds (optional).
1. Preheat oven to 250F.
2. Grease baking pan with butter.
3. If you use Italian plums just cut them in halves and remove stones, any bigger plums you should cut in quarters.
4. Using a mixer beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
5. Add flour, corn starch, baking powder, and vanilla extract (at the very end), and mix.
6. Add 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks (save the two remaining whites) and beat with a mixer until all the ingredients are combined into a perfect blend.
7. Add sour cream to it and beat together again.
8. Spread a batter on the baking tin.
9. Put plums pieces on top pushing them half way into the batter.
10. Bake for about 30-40 min.
11. Meanwhile, whip the two remaining whites until almost stiff. Add a tbsp of sugar and beat again. Add the second spoon of sugar, beat and eventually add the third one until you obtain a smooth meringue frosting. Spread the forsting on the cake, scatter almonds, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top becomes gold.
This cake is nothing fancy, but believe me, it is very comforting on a cool fall day with a cup of coffee or lemon tea.