Plum Yum Almond Cake

long plum yum

Every summer as The Plum Tree on my street becomes laden with ripening fruit it looks like it is about to topple over. The owner is clever in using large sticks and boards to prop up the limbs that without some intervention would no doubt break off. The Plum Tree needs a bit of trimming here and there, a little bit of pruning love, but, alas, it is not my tree.

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On the other hand, I have been enjoying the fruit of this tree for 10 years this summer. This year has a wonderful crop. I picked a small boxful this weekend…many from the ground and a few from the tree. It is never good to be greedy with another’s fruit!  Here is what they looked like when I got them home…..

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….rinsed & drained…..

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,,,,cut in half & cored….

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….topping off my easy-to-make almond cake batter….

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….Plum Yum…..

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Plum Yum Almond Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: plum easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe, but firm plums, cut in half & cored
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour mixed with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps almond extract
  • 1/2 cup almonds , slivered or sliced
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a 9″ deep dish pie pan or cake pan melt the 1 stick of butter.
  3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, flours & extract just until blended. Do not over whisk. Scrape batter into pie pan with melted butter.
  4. Arrange the plum halves, cut side down, on top of the batter & scatter the almonds over all.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until cake is a light golden brown. It is okay if the very center is a bit jiggly. Cool on a wire rack. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Notes: This cake is a dense moist cake and best eaten the day it is made. I did heat a slice in the oven the day after I made it and it was delicious with a cup of coffee.

If you prefer you can use more plums to cover the top of the batter more.

Recipe by: Teresa Blackburn         http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

“Autumn Supper Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons”

fall salad

Shhhhhh…did you hear it? Summer made a very quiet exit as Autumn crept in. I hardly noticed. Did you?

Regardless of the seasons we eat salads for Supper. Salads as entrees, not as sides. Salads with ravioli scattered on top, salads with thinly sliced steak nestled amongst the greens, salads with fruit & cheese. Spinach, Mixed Greens, Kale, Arugula. Carrots, Tomatoes, Berries and Plums. Feta, fresh Mozzarella, shreds of Parmesan Reggiano. Croutons made from baguettes, ciabatta bread or cornbread cut up &  tossed with olive oil & herbs, cooked until crispy.

Salad

Here is what you will need to make one of our favorite salads with lots of healthy stuff.

For the Salad: Salad greens such as Arugula, Spinach, Kale or Mixed Green. A handful of berries, grape or cherry tomatoes, figs or grapes, plums & Feta Cheese

1. Place greens in a bowl. Cut figs & plums into quarters and add to the bowl. Top with berries. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss into bowl. Crumble Feta over everything keeping it in somewhat big chunks. Set aside or cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Figs on cutting board

plums

arugula salad

For the cornbread croutons you will need some precooked cornbread (available at most groceries in their deli), olive oil, shredded Parmesan.

1. Add olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Cut cornbread into cubes. Place in hot skillet in a single layer tossing gently with olive oil. Turn once to brown on both sides. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and let melt somewhat. Remove pan from the heat.

cornbread

cornbread croutons

Serve Autumn Salad topped with these slightly warm,  crunchy croutons and add a light drizzle of a light balsamic vinaigrette.

Life is busy. What could be easier than a salad for supper?

“Plum Clafoutis with Cornmeal – A French Twist”

Once again the branches of the plum-tree a few doors down from us are hanging heavy with ripe fruit. Birds swoop and bite into these sunripened  beauties all during the day leaving half-eaten fruit lying on the ground underneath the tree. As I pick some of these red & purple from the limbs the birds never stop their feast. Back home, I am happy with my  bounty. I will make a “Plum Clafoutis” with a “twist”.

I learned to make clafoutis a number of years ago from some Danish neighbors who were both great cooks. My first was made with dark red cherries, which is the classic version. I love saying “clafoutis”…it is one of those great little words with much rhythm and mystique. Say it softly a few times and you will understand.

Here is my Southerner’s adaptation of this easy French classic.

“CLAFOUTIS WITH RIPE PLUMS AND CORNMEAL”

Ingredients:

12 firm, but ripe, rinsed &  pitted plums, cut into quarters

2 tbsp softened butter

3/4  cup raw sugar, divided

5 large eggs

dash of salt

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp yellow cornmeal

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

powdered sugar

maple syrup (optional indulgence)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Butter a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe dish). Cut pitted plums into pieces.

4. Toss plums into bottom of skillet & sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the raw sugar.

 

5. Using a blender mix together the 1/2 cup raw sugar, eggs, salt, yogurt, milk, vanilla, cornmeal & flour. Blend until well mixed with no lumps.  Pour batter over plums.

6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until center is “set” but still a bit “jiggly”. Remove from oven to cool for at least 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Clafoutis are great warm or cold. For breakfast or brunch with a drizzle of maple syrup it is a sublime treat.

 

The addition of the cornmeal creates a surprise crust on the bottom. Blended with the other ingredients, the cornmeal being heavier, it sinks to the bottom of the skillet during the baking process. A smooth, sweet eggy custard with ripe plums and a tiny crunch on the bottom of each bite.

Clafoutis (French pronunciation: [klafuti]Occitanclafotís [klafuˈtis]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.

The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are traditional there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherriesplumsprunesapplescranberries or blackberries

Bon Appetit with your local fruits & vegetables all summer long.