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Deep Plum Pound Cake, Food Gypsy

Plum Pound Cake

Jammy, tart and subtly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom for a delicate hint of lemon, Plum Pound Cake takes advantage of the late summer’s harvest, well into fall with a rich, buttery, delicious cake that’s always a huge hit.

Growing up we had two plum trees in our yard, just outside my bedroom window. The sweet scent of blossoms would flood in on the breeze in the evening. Covered in busy bees in the spring, by late summer, ripe fruit would begin to fall.

There were always colorful jars of tomatoes, peaches, several kinds of pickles, and of course, plums squirreled away for winter in Mom’s pantry. Taking advantage of nature’s bounty brought sunshine into our lives in the dead of winter with Deep Plum Pudding, a saucy, old-fashioned family favourite.

Just Fruit and Cake

Fruit-focused, simple cakes are a personal preference. I love how easy it is to create spectacular results with humble ingredients and fallen fruit. Pound cake is one of the original simple cakes: sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Be careful not to overmix your batter, or you’ll get tough results. Think ‘less is more’.

Plum Choices

I leapt when I saw these Italian Blue Plums, also known as Black Plums, in the store. They took me straight back to childhood and those two much-loved Blue Italian Plum (AKA: Black Plum) trees outside my window. They’re not as popular now as they once were, giving way to the sweeter, round verities with sweeter, pink, and purple flesh like the Artic Hearty.

Black Plums have sweet, yellow flesh and deep purple, nearly black skin. But this recipe will work with any kind of plum, peaches, apricots or even rhubarb as a fold-in or layered fruit.

Plum Pound Cake, Food Gypsy

Ripe Plums Make Great Cakes!

When I brought them home these plums were still hard, and green inside. They lounged in the fruit bowl for almost three weeks before they were ready to be used.

No amount of sugar can overcome the sourness and acidity of an underripe plum. Trust me. Green plums are terrific for savoury applications, like Asian Plum Sauce. But for pastry, we need sweet plums. Only time and patience will activate their natural sweetness and colour.

It’s worth the wait.

How do I know if my plums are ripe?

When you split a plum, trace a cut line along the natural seam of the fruit with a sharp paring knife, then gently twist to reveal and remove the pit.

If you find it hard to twist the fruit open, if the pit doesn’t dislodge easily, or if part of the flesh sticks to the pit, your plums are too green.

Ripe plums are slightly soft but still firm. They split easily with a little pressure and a slight twist, and the pit will pop out, clean, with a quick flick of a knife.

Perfectly Imperfect Results

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think this Plum Pound Cake recipe made the cut. I didn’t get the nice domed result I was looking for due to the extra moisture of the fruit.

When I’m shooting a cake I never bake and cut the same day. I fridge cakes and loaves overnight because they slice easier and cut cleaner cold. (We also store cakes in the fridge because they last longer that way.) So I wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge.

The next day I did a cut and taste test to get the flat (but still pretty) Plum Pound Cake ready for its close-up. The flavour was TERRIFIC but I was still disappointed because thought it was too dry.

So back in the fridge it went, where it remained, untouched, for nearly a week.

@thefoodgypsy

Plum Pound Cake. Jammy, tart and subtly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom for a delicate hint of lemon. Late summer’s harvest, in a rich, buttery, cake that’s always a huge hit! #easycakerecipe #easyrecipe #plums #fallfood

♬ Fall October Halloween horror classic(177261) – rareNote

Cold Cake vs. Warm Cake

It was discovered by the hubs on a late-night fridge scavenge. He unwrapped it, examined it, gave it a deep sniff, and questioned why he was denied cake! I told him all the reasons I thought it failed.

‘Are you kidding me?! This Plum Pound Cake is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! You’ve just been eating it too cold” he said.

When any cake is too cold the butter in the batter is stiff, which gives it a sandy texture, so you think it’s dry when it’s not. To make his point, he cut a slice, popped it in the microwave for, like, twelve seconds, and MAGIC.

Soft. Moist. Good, buttery crumb and all the ripe plum goodness I was looking for. Lesson learned.

Best advice: Eat Plum Pound Cake, or any cake really, at or slightly above room temperature for best, buttery results!

Live long and cake on.

 

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Deep Plum Pound Cake, Food Gypsy

Plum Pound Cake


  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 8

Description

Jammy, tart and subtly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom for a delicate hint of lemon, Plum Pound Cake takes advantage of late-harvested fruit, well into fall for a rich, delicious, buttery cake that’s always a huge hit! Serve WARM with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sweet whipped cream.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1012 medium, ripe plums (see note)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom FOR THE CAKE
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Coat a standard loaf pan with non-stick spray (or melted butter) and line with parchment paper. (The pan I used was 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches.)
  2. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and reserve until needed.
  3. Pit plums. Slicing vertically along the seam of the fruit, twist to separate and pop out the pit with a paring knife or your thumb. Cut each half in half again and toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a bowl and reserve while you mix your batter.
  4. In a third bowl, cream butter until light and smooth, using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon. Scrape down your bowl, getting right to the bottom. Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down your bowl, in the exact same manner. Add vanilla and eggs, under low speed, one-by-one until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down your bowl, getting right to the bottom. Yes… again.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer (if using) and fold in one-half of the dry ingredients, mix by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula until about half mixed. Now add the final portion of the flour mixture and scrape down that bowl, one final time to ensure all ingredients are well mixed and smooth.
  6. Layer about half your batter into the loaf pan. Smooth with wet fingers and add one-half of the fruit and distribute evenly. Repeat the process with the remainder of the batter and plums – including any juice that may be in the bowl with the fruit, pressing the coated plums gently into the top of the cake.
  7. Place ready-to-bake cake on a cookie sheet (just in case of sugary juice overflow) and place on the middle rack of a preheated 325°F (165°C) oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes – or until a tooth pic inserted in the center of the Plum Pound Cake removes just a few crumbs clinging to it. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve WARM with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a big dollop of whipped cream. Store leftovers, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to ten days.
@thefoodgypsy

Plum Pound Cake. Jammy, tart and subtly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom for a delicate hint of lemon. Late summer’s harvest, in a rich, buttery, cake that’s always a huge hit! #easycakerecipe #easyrecipe #plums #fallfood

♬ Fall October Halloween horror classic(177261) - rareNote

Notes

Here I’m using Italian Blue Plums, also known as Black Plums. But any ripe plum, apricot, peach, or even rhubarb will work well with this pound cake.

Depending on your oven, and the juiciness of your plums, this Plum Pound Cake may take longer to bake. so give yourself a little extra time.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour + 20 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Plum Pound Cake

 

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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