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Plum Crumble Cake

Here is a cake sturdy enough to be eaten out-of-hand with a mug of coffee or tea, but studded with pockets of glowing ruby fruit, like hidden jewels, which suggest the possibility of a dressier presentation: indeed, a dollop of crème fraîche provides the perfect foil to the tart fruit and elevates the snack cake to ‘pudding’ status, just like that! We think it’s almost magical the way the golden flesh of the red plums takes on that rich ruby hue upon cooking. And then there’s the happy fact that this cake serves to remind us how well-matched almonds and stone fruits are in baked goods — more magic! More stone fruits and almonds to come soon, but meanwhile, make some of your own kitchen magic with this cake.

Plum Crumble Cake

For the cake:

2 ¾ sticks butter, softened
11 oz. golden caster sugar (2 cups plus 2 tbs.)
6 large eggs
9 oz. self-rising flour (2 cups plus 2 tbs.)
4 oz. ground almonds (1 cup slivered almonds finely chopped in food processor)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder

For the plum crumble:

1 lb. 2 oz. red plums, pitted and halved or quartered
4 oz. all-purpose flour (scant cup)
3 tbs. golden caster sugar
½ cup flaked (sliced) almonds

Heat oven to 350°F and line a 9”x13” baking tin with parchment.

Put all of the cake ingredients into a mixer bowl and beat on low speed until well mixed. Remove 1/3 cup of the batter and put the rest into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then scatter over the plums.

Roughly mix the flour into the reserved batter to make clumpy crumbs, stir in the sugar and flaked almonds, and scatter the mixture over the plums. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares. Good served at room temperature, nicer gently warmed.*

* The easiest way to warm a square is to place it on a piece of paper towel and zap it for 15-20 seconds in the microwave.

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