While on our recent road trip to spend time with grandparents and cousins, we stopped at the home of our beloved friends who we see only a few times a year. Lucky for us, their plum tree was bearing more fruit than they could handle and they sent us on our way with a nice big bag of purple plums.
So we started eating them in earnest, but still didn’t seem to make a dent in our crop. We arrived at Grammy’s, and of course with her kitchen filled with books, we found a few possibilities for things to make with our stash of plums. We settled on a recipe from the cookbook Barefoot in Paris, a Plum Cake “Tatin”, an apparent take on the French classic usually made with apples.
A wonderful treat when you are fresh from waterfall play with cousins:
Here's all that remained after dessert that evening; it got promptly eaten with somebody's morning coffee.
So we made another one.
Here's the five star recipe:
Plum Cake “Tatin”
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
10-12 purple “prune” plums, cut in half and pitted
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the plums in the dish, cut side down.
Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan, but don’t stir. Pour evenly over plums.
Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining ¾ cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined. Pour the cake batter evenly over the plums and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a plum sticks, ease it out and replace it in a design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.