Thursday, August 11, 2011

A plethora of plums

The extraordinarily hot spring and the wet summer have combined to produce bumper crops of fruit. I have an abundance of apples, a slew of strawberries, a teemingness of tomatoes and a richness of raspberries. After making jam from the berries, I thought I had time to relax until the apples and tomatoes are ready for picking but a friend had other ideas.  She arrived with four enormous bags of plums and a box of jars. What could I do but get the preserving pan out again?

Stoning and cutting up 20 pounds of plums was quite a task and it was more fruit than I needed for jam. What to do with the rest? Fortunately, I was about to visit my son so a big bake up was justified.
I decided to try out my resurrected tuna quiche recipe on him. That's the result on the left of the photo. It was a great hit with him and with little Brit.  I also made a roasted vegetable quiche and a plum tart and then I made some jam tarts with a jar of the plum jam. The other item in the photo is a plum crumble cake. I have had the recipe for many years but this was my first attempt at baking one.  Here is the recipe:

I used a 10 inch/25cm springform cake tin, lined with baking parchment.
5oz/150g butter at room temperature
5oz/150g caster sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5oz/150g plain flour
1teaspoon baking powder
2lbs/900g red plums, halved and stoned

For the crumble topping
4oz/115g plain flour
4oz.115g light brown sugar
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
3oz/75g butter, cut into pieces and refrigerated

  1. Make the topping by combining the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl. Rub in the cold butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Leave to one side while you mix the cake batter.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the cake mixture.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the plum halves on top and sprinkle with the crumble topping.
  4. Bake at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for about 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool.
I will be using the recipe again with apples when they are ready. I am sure that pears and raspberries would work as well.


  1. Thank you! That's exactly what I meant. I'm copying this recipe straightaway.

  2. I can testify to how truly delicious this cake is, having sampled a piece at granddaughter, Brit Junior's birthday party. I intend to try the recipe myself, using apples, and I will be delighted if it tastes half as good.

  3. Bruessel
    I hope you enjoy the cake as much as we did.

  4. agent

    I'm going to make an apple cake, too. Let me know how yours turns out. It was lovely to see you at the birthday celebration and hope you will come and see us soon.

  5. Boy oh boy! I must print this off, and the tuna casserole recipe. Speaking of plums, have you ever the childrens' book Jam, by Maraget Mahy? It's a family favorite here. Our kids would beg us to read it when they were little, and roll with laughter every time. It never got old. See if you can find it. If not, let me know and I'll try to mail you a copy.

  6. Jodi

    I found it on Amazon and it is on it's way. I look forward to reading it to our little ones. Actually, I look forward to reading it myself, the children are just an excuse to read all the lovely books!


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