|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This quick and easy recipe for Polish plum cake (placek z sliwkami) makes good use of an abundance of fresh plums. Though you can use any variety, small Italian prune plums, with their slightly tart flavor, hold their shape well and add a welcome complexity of flavor. They come into their short season in late summer and you can find them in many grocery stores through the early fall.
In a pinch or as a shortcut, you can use two (14-ounce) cans whole purple plums, drained, halved, and pitted. Other juicy stone fruits such as nectarines, peaches, and apricots, or mixed berries and pie cherries also work well in this versatile recipe.
This light, not-too-sweet cake makes a good dessert after a heavy dinner or for a late-night treat. Or serve it as you would a coffee cake, for a sweet mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or a festive breakfast.
- For the Cake:
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 ounces butter (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 40 small fresh plums (any variety, halved and pitted; cut larger plums into quarters)
- For the Streusel Topping:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 3 tablespoons butter (cold, cut into pieces)
- Optional: confectioners sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Add the room-temperature butter, milk, and eggs. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes or until all of the ingredients combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Position the plum halves on top, cut side up, pushing them down slightly into the batter.
Cut the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cloves into 3 tablespoons of cold butter until crumbs form. Sprinkle it over the plums. Bake the cake on the center oven rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan so it can absorb the juice from the plums, resulting in an especially moist cake with intense plum flavor throughout.
Sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar, if desired, and cut the cake into 12 squares.
Cloves impart a strong flavor to the cake. You can substitute ground cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg if you prefer.
To increase the sweetness, drizzle a glaze made of 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract onto the cooled cake. Replace the vanilla extract with fresh lemon juice for a tart glaze that would pair well with berries.
Sprinkle crushed almonds or walnuts onto the streusel topping before you bake the cake.