A homey cake is a treat any time of year. Halved and nestled in the batter, the plums turn ruby red and jammy as they bake.–Domenica Marchetti
LC Haute Yet Homey Note
Not to be argumentative with author Domenica Marchetti, whose recipes and writings we adore, but while she prefers how this simple cake “celebrates September, when farmers’ markets are overflowing with small, dark Italian plums,” we keep this recipe handy all summer long and make it with whatever variety of plums we happen to have on hand. And while we’ve got nothing against homey, as Marchetti dubs this dessert, we think this looker of a cake has a little haute going on, too.
Special Equipment: 8- or 9-inch springform pan
Plum Almond Cake Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes one 8- or 9-inch cake
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) sunflower or vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond meal or almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) half-and-half or whole milk
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 7 to 9 plums (any variety), halved and pitted but not peeled
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
- 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, egg, half-and-half, lemon juice and zest, the 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar, and the almond extract. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
- 3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, on top of the batter. In a bowl, combine the almonds, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the butter and mix well. Dot the almond topping over the cake.
- 4. Bake the cake until the topping is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (If using an 8-inch pan, you may need to bake it longer, being careful to cover the outer edges of the cake with a strip of foil if they begin to brown.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the ring from the pan and place the cake on a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or, if you can wait, at room temperature.
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Plum Almond Cake Recipe © 2011 Domenica Marchetti. Photo © 2011 Maren Caruso. All rights reserved.
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