A few years ago one of my Island neighbors gave me some Italian Prunes from their tree. I’m ever so fond of them and their crisp bite (the prunes not the neighbors). I was hoping to find a few new ways to use them when I stumbled across Marian Burros’ recipe in the New York Times. The Times published this recipe year after year for over 20 years. The editors tried to remove it, but the readers loved it so much, there would be a major uproar whenever the recipe was omitted from the food section. After making it many times, I can understand why.
The cake has a soft crumb, and while I prefer a cake with body, this recipe is both tender and substantial. Yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too. The way you arrange the fruit also adds to the visual appeal of the cake. The cake reminds me of the 1950’s and 60’s when moms didn’t work outside the home and had coffee klatches with their friends during the day. It does need to be a variety of stone fruit though to hold up to the baking time.
½ cup softened butter
¾ cup granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoons to be sprinkled on before baking
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down after each addition.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix until just combined.
Spread in a lightly greased 9 inch springform pan.
Italian prunes, 6 to 10 in all depending on plum size, halved
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Arrange cut plums on top of batter, skin side up, covering batter.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, then the cinnamon and then the remaining sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees, until cake is golden, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Cool before serving.
* From the Recipe Box: I usually combine the cinnamon and sugar together and then sprinkle it on for a more even distribution. I’ve made this with nectarines, too and I might like it even better. One of these days I’ll give cherries a try. Easy cake, with great texture.
and remember: If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is simply an inconvenience. Big kiss, Lynn