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Any regular reader of The New York Times food coverage in the 80’s who was also on the lookout for easy baking ideas probably remembers this recipe. It’s since become a bit of a cult classic republished often with different subtle changes. Every year at this time, when the Italian plums show up in the market, I find myself hunting down the recipe. Here it is posted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper from NPR’s Splendid Table with a little history too.
This is the simplest recipe ever and every time I make the batter, I pause because there is so little of it (making me think I’ve forgotten something) which is spread very thinly on the bottom of a baking pan. Here I use a 9-inch cast-iron (because I never met a recipe I didn’t want to try in it). Then, the plum halves are embedded on top and it always seems strange, like it’ll never rise into a proper cake buried underneath all that fruit! But it always does. This is my kind of dessert, easily whipped up just before dinner–baking and scenting the room during dinner and served warm for dessert, melting ice-cream pooling into the crevices.
Leftovers also make a fantastic breakfast pastry.