(From Food & Wine, October, 1997; recipe by Jacques Pepin)
This is excellent with a dessert wine. I'm posting it here because my husband posted a photo of it and friends requested the recipe, and this is the easiest way to share it.
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole almonds (5.5 oz.)
2/3 c. plus 3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp, baking powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 c. milk
6-8 ripe plums, preferably Black Friar or Santa Rosa
½ c. plum jam
1 Tbsp. plum brandy or cognac
Optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 10-in. spring-form pan with ¼ tsp. of the butter; reserve the rest.
- 2. In a food processor, combine the flour, almonds and 2/3 c. of the sugar and process until a coarse powder forms. Add the eggs, oil, baking powder, vanilla and remaining butter; process just until incorporated. Add the milk and process just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; it should be about 3/4 –in deep in the pan.
- 3. Using the tip of a sharp knife, remove the pit from the stem end of each plum. Rinse the whole pitted plums well in cold water and, while they are still wet, roll them in the remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar. Push the plums down into the cake batter until half immersed, making sure to space them evenly.
- 4. Set the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and browned. Let cool on a rack until lukewarm.
- 5. Mix the plum jam and brandy and brush the glaze over the lukewarm cake. Remove from the pan and cut the cake into wedges; each serving should contain a plum. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Wine note: Juicy, ripe plums need an equally fruity, plummy sweet wine. Muscat has just the right amount of sweetness and aromatic flavour, according to Food & Wine.