It seemed a perfect day to post this comforting plum cake as it’s a thoroughly miserable morning here with drizzly rain and a monotonous grey sky with no sign of even a chink of brightness. In fact, I wish I had a piece of it to eat right this minute with a cup of tea, but unfortunately it’s all gone now so I’m having to make do with a couple (or three) digestives.
Standing at the back of the garden and providing welcome summer shade for the chickens there is a very straggly looking Victoria plum tree. I bought it about ten or so years ago as one of those bargain basement specimens reduced to pennies in the supermarket, being strangled in a plastic bag and leaves withering to the point of exhaustion. Last year we were on holiday when it fruited, the unpicked crop became so heavy a couple of the limbs snapped under the weight so now it is very lopsided and would probably be given the chop in anything other than a ramshackle cottage garden like my own.
My little piece of England, sitting on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk is a good resting place for the imperfect. Self seeders are left to grow where they decide to make their home, climbers are allowed to get rather out of hand and wild flowers, which others would call weeds, are left to their own devices. So a mis-shapen fruit tree doesn’t really look too out of place at all. What’s left of the branches have fruited very well again this year although it’s always a cat and mouse game with the wasps to see who gets them first.
I know there is already lots of talk of Autumn and just a short stroll around the garden is enough to see the season of mellow fruitfulness is well and truly on its way, but hopefully we’ll get a little bit more sunshine before this glorious summer finally leaves us for good.
This is a fabulous plum cake, it is just as good with a cup of tea or with custard as a pudding. It seemed to get a good response on Instagram with lots of requests for the recipe so here it it. Happy Cooking!
- 150g unsalted butter
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g plain four
- 11/2 tsp baking powder
- 100g ground almonds
- Approx.10 plums, halved and stoned
- 75g self raising flour
- 75g demerera sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 25g butter
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g pecans, very roughly broken in pieces
- Preheat oven to 170c fan.
- Make the streusel first. Put the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Add 2Tbs water and the nuts and mix together with a knife, it should be dry but lumpy. Keep to one side.
- Then make the cake part. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla and the eggs, then mix in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds until smooth. Add a little milk if the mixture is too stiff.
- Put the cake mixture in the cake tin and spread evenly. Put the halved plums in a single layer on the top then evenly scatter over the streusel. Don't press it down.
- Bake for 1 hr 15 mins.