Fresh plums are available from late spring through summer. You will find these juicy fruits in an assortment of colors, from yellow and green to deep pink, purple and scarlet. Check the varieties available at your local farmers' market and choose firm, fragrant fruits with sweet, tangy flesh, such as Simka, Santa Rosa, Seneca or Satsuma. Also make sure to press the fruit into the batter, otherwise you get lots of plain cake on the bottom and all the fruit will stay on top of the cake.more
Adapted from williams-sonoma.com
cups all-purpose flour
tsp. baking powder
Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
eggs, at room temperature
6 to 8
plums, about 1 lb. total, halved, pitted
and each half cut into 4 slices
tsp. ground cinnamon
TIPS: The batter is very thick, almost doughy. It is important that you push the fruit in, as it rises a bit whilst it cooks. If you don't push it down in to the batter, you will have all cake on the bottom and fruit on the top. The end product is like a coffee cake. It is very moist.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the paper with more spray. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and the 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.The batter is very thick, almost dough. Poke the plum slices into the batter, placing them close together. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the 1 Tbs. sugar and sprinkle over the surface. Bake until the top is golden, the edges pull away from the pan, and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes; however, it may no take as long as the recipe called for so keep an eye on it. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving. Serves 8. Note: Another homey, old-fashioned dessert, a buckle is a dish in which cake batter is mixed with fruit, often blueberries, and then baked. It is frequently topped with a cinnamon streusel.