What’s been keeping me busy, though, are all the plums growing, falling, and collecting in my yard. There are…lots…of plums. It’s a nice dilemma. One that lends itself to visiting the neighbors with gifts in hand, discussions on what to do when you’ve reached saturation point with jam and need some new ideas.
I’m getting a lot of good ideas, and I’m starting with this one. This plum cake is plucked from David Lebowitz’s Ripe For Dessert, which I made a couple of teeny changes to. It reminds me of the kind of cakes my grandmother would make- not too sweet,redolent of her Austrian heritage, and filled with the best of the season’s fruits. Blueberries were her thing, plums are mine.
1/4 c warm whole milk
2 tsp. dry yeast (not instant)
1/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
6 medium plums, pitted and cut into slices
1/2 c. raspberries
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 c. sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and side of a 9″ springform pan.
Place the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir and allow the yeast to dissolve a bit. Add the first 1/4 c. of sugar and stir well, then add the vanilla and eggs. Continue to mix until the yeast and sugar are completely dissolved and the eggs are fully incorporated.
Add the flour and salt and beat on medium speed for a minute. Add the chunks of butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat for an additional minute.
Pour the dough (it will be very sticky and soft) into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
If after 2 hours the dough has not spread into the edge of the pan, dampen your hands and press into the corner and side. Sprinkle the raspberries on top of the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edge. If the fruit is too close to the edge, it could stick to the pan and burn in the oven. Arrange the plums on top of the berries.
Sprinkle the lemon juice on top of the fruit, then sprinkle the sugar evenly atop the fruit and exposed dough. Just as David Lebovitz states in the original recipe, it looks like a lot of sugar. Keep on sprinkling.
Let the cake sit, covered, for an additional 1/2 hour, to allow it to rise one more time.
Remove the plastic and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the center is golden and slightly firm.
Allow the cake to cool a bit before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, and eat with reckless abandon.