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Italian Plum Goodness

25 October 2009 2,824 views No Comment

I was introduced to the Italian plum over Rosh Hashanah in September when the lovely Marcia F. served a delicious Italian Plum Cake for dessert.

According to the kitchn, Italian Prune Plums are small, dense, egg-shaped fruit with blue or purple skin. These are the plums that are made into prunes but are also great for baking.

They are a seasonal fruit, available in stores during August and September. The week after I tasted Marcia’s cake, I bought a couple pounds of them to make my own.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the recipe from her before the little plums started to soften and over-ripen. One night, I decided to use them for a quick plum cobbler topped with oatmeal and ginger granola. It was delicious and I served the cobbler with vanilla ice cream in these wine glasses.

presentation

When we were finished, Lucy was kind enough to help with the clean-up. If you are a dog lover, be sure to check out this video of our hard-working dishwasher.

This cobbler is delicious and I’m not ashamed that I enjoyed a couple of servings for breakfast during that week. Without the ice cream, the cobbler has the perfect amount of sweet and tartness to make it a lovely way to start the day — either cold or heated quickly in the microwave.

cobbler

I’m not sure where Marcia’s recipe came from but here is a version that cucina nicolina adapted from Williams-Sonoma that I’m sure would turn out lovely.

Italian plum cake

adapted from williams-sonoma

1 lb. plums, halved and pitted
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at
room temperature
4 eggs, separated
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

italian plum cake

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Place the plum halves in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat together the butter and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the orange zest, lemon zest and vanilla.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder. In another bowl, using the electric mixer fitted with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.

Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the egg whites and ending with the whites. Do not overmix. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the plum halves, cut sides up, on top of the prebaked batter. Carefully spread the remaining batter evenly over the plums. Return to the oven and bake until the cake is lightly browned on top, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen them from the pan.

Let cool for 45 minutes more, then remove the pan sides. Using a small sieve, dust the top of the cake with the confectioners’ sugar (I forgot to do this, and it was fine). Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10.

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