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September, Harvest and Plum Cake

2009 September 1

September is the month that I adore most. Most of the month is chilly enough for a sweater but not quite a coat. A coat reminds me of winter which I found out is way too long here. Soon the leaves will be changing, bonfires will be had, apples will be picked at the orchards and the fall harvest will be placed on tables. The spring wheat, wheat that was planted in the spring of course, will shine in the sun, rippling across the field in a way that always catches my eye. Can you tell I love this time? I miss living in the country sometimes. I miss living where we have fields and woods to walk in and friends to converse with beside a bonfire.

Meal plans are changing to accommodate for a need of comfort and warmth. I have stews and casseroles planned and am changing my style of beer and wine, tossing blankets onto the couch to curl up with in the cool evening and awaiting a few tv shows to begin their new seasons.

I was enjoying my morning so much that I changed which recipe I wanted to post. I basked in the morning with my usual plain black coffee and had the last slice of plum cake which I had made a few days ago. After purchasing many plums at the farmer’s market, I immediately wanted to find a recipe for them. That’s where Dimply Plum Cake from Let Her Bake Cake came in.

This was a Dorie Greenspan recipe in the book ‘From My Home To Yours.’ Hilary changed the recipe slightly, using less brown sugar and changing cinnamon to cardamom. I enjoyed this cake although it was a bit dry, it was pleasant with a glass of milk or coffee. The original creator, Dorie Greenspan, stated that after a few days it would be moister. I agree but suggest adding a small amount of yogurt or more butter to moisten the cake from the get-go so that you don’t have to wait. This recipe can be used for almost any fruit and the spice can be changed to enhance whatever fruit you choose.

Plum Cake

Plum Cake

Plum Cake
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cardamom (or cinnamon)
¼ tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter (might want to add 1 tbsp for moisture)
½- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I added ¾)
2 eggs
1/3 cup of vegetable oil (or canola)
optional- ¼ cup plain yogurt
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
zest of an orange
6-8 plums, cut in half and pitted (might need more)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour an 8-10 inch cake pan.

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom (or other spice). In a mixer or large bowl, beat the butter on medium until creamy for about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, add eggs (one at a time) and scrape down the bowl. Add oil, optional yogurt, vanilla and zest, beat on medium until smooth. Then, reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Place batter in the pan and smooth with a spatula, then arrange the plums, cut side up and press down slightly into the batter. I don’t think I added enough and would recommend overlapping the plums to enhance the moistness. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a knife comes out clean and it is golden and puffy. Cool on wire rack. If you want to wait, you can wrap the cake for a few days.

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