Sunday, July 6, 2008

Plum Upside Down Cake

This week in Newburgh all sorts of fruit was on sale for FIFTY CENTS A POUND! Yahoo! I loaded up my cart, including ten pounds of plums to make freezer jam tomorrow...mmmmm... plum freezer jam is Michael's favorite. Now our fruit basket is overflowing with nearly-ripe peaches, nectarines, limes, and both red and black plums. With all that fruit hanging around, I couldn't resist trying out this recipe I found online last week. The photo isn't mine, but even I, the queen of ugly cakes, managed to turn mine out absolutely gorgeous. The plum skins baked in the caramelized butter/brown sugar glaze turn the top a lovely deep pink, and contrasted with the yellow flesh of the plums I used the cake really looked (and tasted!) fantastic.

Click here to see the photo, which was removed by request of the author.

One thing that I didn't realize before I made it was how thin the cakes would turn out. I didn't have any ramekins, as directed, so I just made 2 8" round cakes and there wasn't enough batter to even cover the bottoms of both pans. The nicer cake was only about 1/2" - 1" thick when cooked. At first I was disappointed but actually when we ate it we all agreed that the thin cake made the plum-soaked sweetness go all the way through and it was MARVELOUS. I do think it would be even more lovely in ramekins where the thin cakes would look more petite and jewel-like. Perhaps next time I will try making them in my oven-safe fiesta ware bowls.

We had the cake for our 4th of July afternoon treat and it disappeared in literally minutes with rave reviews from all concerned.



* 1 1/4 stick butter (10 Tbsp or 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp), softened
* 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
* 4 plums, pitted and sliced
* 5 Tbsp buttermilk OR 4 Tbsp milk plus 2 teaspoons milk and 1 tsp lemon juice
* 3/4 cup cake flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* Pinch salt
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* Zest of 1/2 an orange
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Four 10 or 8 ounce ramekins


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the insides of the ramekins. Melt 3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) of the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour into the bottoms of the buttered ramekins, dividing the sugar butter sauce evenly among them. Arrange a layer of plum slices at the bottom of each ramekin.

2 If you are not using buttermilk, combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl (the mixture will curdle), set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3 Use an electric mixer to beat together the remaining 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp) butter with the granulated sugar and orange zest. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix to combine. Alternately add the dry flour mixture and the buttermilk (or lemon soured milk) mixture to the batter.

4 Divide the batter among the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cakes are firm to the touch, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center does not come out with raw batter on it. (Might be wet from plum juice.) Turn the baking sheet around half-way through the baking to ensure an even baking for all the cakes.

5 Remove from oven and let cool on a rack until no longer hot to the touch. Run a paring knife around the edges of the ramekins. Invert onto a plate and gently lift off of the plate.

Serve alone or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes 4 individual servings.


Elise said...

Hi there,
I'm delighted that you like the recipe well enough to post about it on your site. I would ask that if you post the recipe, that you do not also post the photograph. Thank you so much for your consideration.
Simply Recipes

Blair said...

I also made a plum upside down cake last week (from a different recipe), and Sam and I weren't in love with the results. I love the idea of it, so I'll have to try yours!