The theme of this month’s #baketogether with Abby Dodge was Summer Fruit Cake. Surrounded by so much fruit in Paris, I had, as they say here “l’embarras du choix” (so much to choose from) in terms of fruit but I couldn’t get out of my head the plum cake my Nana used to make using the plums from her tree in the back garden. There are so many gorgeous plums available at this time of year in France that as soon as I thought of it, I knew that this was what I was going to attempt to make. In my ill equipped kitchen. Fortunately, I was able to borrow an immersion blender with a whisk attachment to cream the butter and sugar and I found some dinky little pans to bake the cake in (I halved the recipe, making enough for four – perfect for serving at a small dinner for friends).
I actually ended up with a little bit leftover so I made one small cake for four that I served to friends, and one tiny, thin cake for two. Or one.
Here is the cake a little bit baked with the fruit just added…
And here is it just out of the oven. People who know cakes talk about the “crumb”. I don’t much know about these things but I think the “crumb” looks pretty good, non?
Considering I was working with an oven I don’t know and not really proper cake tins, I think I did a pretty good job…. Even my little one came out a little flat but still gorgeous. I took it out much earlier on, checking often with a fork to see if it was cooked or not…
ever so slightly adapted from Abby Dodge
Makes 10 servings
1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (5 1/2 ounces) crème fraîche
For the topping:
6 oz plums
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350°F degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9×2-inch round cake pan. Lightly flour the sides and line the bottom with a parchment or nonstick baking circle.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter, and sugar with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed until just blended. Add the orange zest and vanilla along with the second egg. Using a wide rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients and the sour cream alternately into the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
After you put the cake in the oven, make the topping. Combine the raspberries, sugar, and flour in a small bowl. Using a table fork, mix the ingredients together to evenly coat the fruit and lightly crush the fruit. After the cake has baked for 15 minutes, working quickly, slide the oven rack out and scatter the plums evenly over the top of the cake. Continue baking until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about another 23 to 25 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a rack to cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Using a dry dishtowel to protect your hands, place a wire cooling rack on top of the cake pan and, holding onto both rack and plate, and invert the cake. Lift the pan up from the cake. Peel away the parchment.
Place another wire rack or flat serving plate on the bottom of the cake and flip the cake one more time so that the fruit is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storage: Cover the baked and cooled cake in plastic wrap and stow at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Verdict? Well I think Nana would approve I’ll be making this again!
Keep up with me this summer through my Summer 2011 Flickr set.