Plum Kuchen

So actually, I'm pretty sure these are not actually plums but rather pluots.  Pluots are a hybrid of plums and apricots which look a lot like plums and are very sweet and juicy.  They seemed basically like plums to me.  I've gotten a lot in my CSA and there is only so many one girl can eat, so I made a cake (which is unsurprisingly a common solution to almost any problem I may encounter).

The hardest part of this recipe was getting the plums (pluots, whatever) removed from the pit in intact halves.  What I ended up doing after totally destroying a couple was to just cut on either side of the pit, so there was a thin slice of fruit with the pit in the middle.  You lose a little of the fruit, but since the plums are on display you want them to look nice.
Otherwise this cake was really easy to make.  I wanted to show you how I just add all the dry ingredients and do not mix them all beforehand.  Look, they get all mixed in.  I don't understand why all these recipes make you do an extra step and get an extra bowl dirty.  You can't even tell I cheated.
I really like to reduce the number of dishes as much as possible.  I really hate doing dishes.  I will sometimes use one measuring cup (like a 1/3 cup) for all measurements, estimating when necessary, so I only have to clean one.  I realize I can get away with this because I've had a lot of practice and made mistakes so I know where not to take shortcuts.  I hope that my shortcuts don't make things harder and am always interested to hear feedback either way.
Okay, so you don't have to make pretty patterns in the dough because you'll put plums in, but sometimes I get bored.  Really you just want to smooth it out.  If you do like making patterns (it is especially pretty on the top of cream cheese brownies, which reminds me, I should make some cream cheese brownies), then this one is really easy.  Drag the back of a spoon across the dough in parallel lines the short way.  Then slowly drag it first up then back then up etc. the long way.  It really is a totally unnecessary step.  Ironic, huh, since I just went on about how I have been trying to remove extraneous steps from my recipes.
Now arrange the plums in pretty rows.  If you feel artistic you could arrange them in different patterns but the rows seem to be the easiest.  You want to leave a little space around them so they make dimples.  The cake is really delicious, sweet and moist.  Enjoy!

Plum Kuchen

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 purple or red plums (or even Italian prune plums, when they are in season), halved and pitted
1. Beat the butter at medium speed in a mixer until soft.  Add sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. 
2. Beat in the oil and vanilla.
3. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined.
4. Butter and dust with flour a 13x9 inch baking pan.  Spread dough evenly in pan.
5. Make 6 rows of 4 plum halves, jiggling each plum slightly so they settle.
6. Bake on the center rack of a preheated 350°F oven.
7. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
8. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes during which time the plums juices will seep back into the cake then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
From Smitten Kitchen
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1 comment:

  1. Hello! I like your blog. I really want to make this, it looks sooo good! Never heard of a pluot until now!