One of my local shops had punnets of home ripening plums on special last weekend for 69p a punnet. Normally I don't buy things like that. Mostly because it takes too long for them to ripen and most of the time they don't ripen at all but go bad anyways . . .
I had in mind this plum cake that I wanted to make though and for that I needed really firm plums.
This is a very unusual cake. You make a crumble mixture in the food processor that you use in the base, filling and topping.
Some of the crumbs get pressed into a baking tin and baked into a lovely buttery crust.
Then you make a frangipane mixture with more of the crumb mixture by beating in some eggs and stuff. This you spread over the buttery baked base. Top with some sliced plums and you bake it some more.
The plums get all soft and sweet and the frangipane mixture bakes up around them. Then you add a final topping of the last of the crumbs which you have mixed with some flaked almonds and you bake it a little longer til golden brown.
It's all you can do to wait until it cools to dig in . . . but wait. It's worth it. Trust me on this. It tastes so much better lukewarm than it does hot. (And it tastes pretty good hot!!)
It is kind of like a tart, but also a cake, and a crumble.
It's all three rolled into one scrummy, moreish bake! Oh my but this is some good!
*Plum and Almond Crumble Cake*
Makes 16 servings
It's a Crumble! It's a Cake! It's a Crumble Cake! (Pretty scrummy too!)
250g COLD butter ( 1 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS)
227g castor sugar, plus a bit extra for sprinkling (1 cup plus 3 TBS)
284g ground almonds (3 cups plus 6 TBS)
210g plain flour, plus 4 1/2 TBS extra flour (1 1/2 cups plus 4 1/2 TBS)
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tsp baking powder
6 firm plums, stone and cut into sixths
60g flaked almonds (2/3 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/Gas mark 4. Butter an 8 by 12 inch baking tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Place the butter, sugar and ground almonds in a food processor. Pulse them together until the mixture resembles a rough crumble. Remove half of this mixture to a bowl and set aside. To the remaining mixture in the processor, add the 210g (1 1/2 cups) ounces of flour and whiz this together until it forms a dough. Tip this into the prepared baking tin and press it out evenly, pressing it down well. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the filling, tip the remaining crumble mixture back into the food processor, reserving 2 TBS aside for the topping. Add the remaining 4 1/2 TBS of flour, the baking powder, the eggs, and the cinnamon. Whiz until it forms a soft batter. Spread this batter over the cooled base.
Top the batter with the prepared plums and sprinkle with a little extra sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes.
Mix the remaining crumbs with the flaked almonds. Sprinkle this over top of the baked plums and return to the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes, until golden brown and the batter and plums are thoroughly cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into slices to serve.