Since plums came into season, I've been meaning to make some Pflaumenkuchen, but somehow every time I buy plums I end up just eating them. I can't help myself, I love stone fruits (plums, apricots, peaches, etc.). Luckily for me, someone at work brought in a huge bag of plums which I suppose were from their tree at home, and I quickly pilfered a selection and vowed to make a plum cake. I even went so far as to tell other people at work about my plan, which forces me to actually follow through (otherwise I get that look that says 'where's the cake?'). I think they all think I'm insane since I'm constantly bringing baked goods into the office for no reason, but they hardly complain when they get to eat the fruits of my labour. Except for that one guy who reminded me of the recent article pointing out that sugar is a poison. He still ate my cupcakes though, so that says something.
Pflaumenkuchen (German Plum Cake)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 lemon peel, grated (zested, etc)
1 t baking soda
~1 T milk
1/2 to 1 t cinnamon
1-2 T bread crumbs
(1-2 t lemon juice, optional)
- Using a food processor (preferred) or hand blender, cream butter and sugar, add egg, flour, baking soda and lemon peel. Mix well.
- Add milk, mix well.*
- Wrap dough in wax paper and refrigerate until cool. (I left it in the fridge over night, an hour would probably do).
- Preheat over to 400F/200C (190C if fan forced).
- Lightly grease a springform pan (or a pie dish, that's what I used.... the springform is much better though).
- Lightly flour your fingers so the dough doesn't stick, and transfer into pan. Press down around edges with your fingers to create a slight ridge. The dough will be fairly shallow across the base of your dish.
- Wash, pit and slice plums and arrange across the top of the dough. I prefer concentric circles of slices (quarters or eighths), but you could also use halves, arranging them face up.
- Mix bread crumbs, 1-2 t sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and using your fingers sprinkle across the plums. The amount of cinnamon you use is totally up to your taste, I'd recommend the smaller amount. Add a few small dollops of butter ontop of the plums.
- If your plums are quite sweet, squeeze a small amount of lemon juice across the plums to add a hint of tartness to the flavour. **
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear.
** I *really* like the tartness, and the plums I used were quite sweet so it worked well for me when I squeezed maybe a quarter of a lemon across the surface. If you prefer a sweeter flavour, or if your plums are already tart, you can skip this step entirely.
Another useful tip, since it's about 30C here (summer, finally!), I put the plums in the fridge overnight, which actually made them easier to slice. They weren't as juicy and dribbly and mushy (which of course is the best part if you're simply eating them over the sink) as they would have been had I left them on the counter. This was helpful since these plums were a bit bruised. I may or may not have had to eat a few aesthetically unpleasing slices (they're the most delicious) during the preparation.
So, this cake disappeared within 10 minutes at my office. These people are food ninjas!