Saturday, August 9, 2008
Roasted Plum Cakes
If you can remember Spring here in Pittsburgh (it seems like so long ago), you'll remember the flowering trees and how they seemed to be just loaded with blossoms this year. Well, those blossoms have turned into plums in a friend's yard. I wish I had taken a picture of the tree - the branches were threatening to break from the masses of fruit on each limb, with the branches bending down until they almost touched the ground. And when my friends offered me a bag to fill with plums well, for me, that's like offering candy to a baby! I thought about making one of those beautiful plum tarts with all the slices placed just so and glazed with a shiny coat of apricot jam. But these plums were a little small and I didn' t have the time for a fussy tart. So instead I decided to try the Roasted Plum Cakes from Baking with Julia. They are simple to make and so delicious served warm with a side of vanilla ice cream. You could substitute raspberries, blueberries or peaches for the plums if you had them on hand. I baked one with red raspberries and it was delicious too.
Roasted Plum Cakes
adapted from Baking with Julia
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided (I used less for topping)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp minced orange zest (I used lemon)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 large ripe plums, halved and pitted
Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8 ramekins and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Cream the butter, 2 T of brown sugar, and the granulated sugar for 6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the zest and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and baking soda and beat on low speed for only 15 seconds. Pour in the buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds more. Remove from mixer and use a spatula to finish blending the ingredients if necessary.
Spoon the batter into the ramekins, dividing the batter among them evenly. Place a half plum, cut side up, into each cup leaving the plum a bit higher than the batter so that the plum will show after the cakes rise in the oven. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar evenly over each plum. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Cool the cakes 10 minutes. To serve, remove the cakes from the ramekins onto a dessert plate and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.