In Florida, it pretty much feels like summer year round. With the exception of a few weeks in the winter, the temperature doesn’t give much indication to the season we’re currently in. One way we stay in touch with the seasons, like the rest of the country, is via the produce that’s being harvested.
I don’t know about you but there’s something about a juicy stone fruit that screams summer. Peaches are my favorite variety, but with plums only 0.99¢ a pound, I could’t pass up the opportunity to snatch a bunch to bake with. Available from May to October, plums hit their peak harvest in July. There are over 2,000 varieties worldwide, with more than 100 types in the U.S. alone, making for plenty of options at your local farmstand throughout the summer and into early fall.
Although lusciously juicy and sweet to eat out of hand, plums provide a complex flavor and texture to any dish they’re added to. The sweet flesh and tart skin of plums are particularly fantastic in desserts, with this plum buckle being a perfect representation of that fact. In case you aren’t familiar, a buckle is a dessert where fruit is placed on top of a layer of cake batter, which rises to the top while baking and then buckles when cool. Buckles are quick and easy to prepare, which means you can whip this dessert up fast for that unexpected BBQ or have it on the table for dinner in no time!
- 7.6 oz. (about 1 & 1/3 cup) White Whole Wheat Flour
- ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ Salt
- 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. Sugar
- 1 tsp. grated Lemon Zest
- 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup lowfat Buttermilk
- 3 Plums; halved, pitted, & sliced ½ in. thick
- 2 tbsp. Sliced Almonds
- Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the butter, ½ cup sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat mixture at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, blending just until combined.
- Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Arrange sliced plums on top of batter. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool cake in the pan on a wire cooling rack before serving.
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018
Summer is typically a slow time of year for me. School is out. The back-to-back flow of major holidays is absent. I no longer have to be someplace all the time and there are a less incentives given to require constant recipe creation. I rely on this time to relax, plan out the craziness of the fall and winter months ahead, and sneak a few trips to the park for my oldest to exert some of her excess energy.
This year, however, has not been typical. It seems like I have been going nonstop since last August when I am usually settled down around early June. The reason for the change? Well, in June I was approached by a local magazine, Edible Orlando, to have a recipe of mine featured in their Summer issue. Almost immediately after that exposure, I was approached by two different authors who are assembling cookbooks and would like to feature some of my recipes in their books. I gladly obliged but it also means a bit more involvement than I’m used to regarding this website. Meanwhile, I celebrated my fiance’s 33rd birthday, the Baptism of our second daughter, followed by Independence Day festivities, and in a little over two weeks it will be our second daughter’s 1st birthday. If I am lucky I will get a week or two off before the crazy school year starts all over again with registration for my daughter in school and a bunch of extracurricular activities along with the constant recipe development needed for the fall/winter holidays.
Since I have been busy I haven’t planned much in advance regarding future posts and I haven’t involved myself in other incentive-based projects. This post came about after I was out doing regular shopping and got a deal on some organic plums for $1.99/pound. I figured I could find something to make with them. Sure enough, after having a brief conversation with my mom about how my great-grandmother used to make plum jelly I decided to do a bit of research on traditional German recipes using plums. I quickly discovered that plum cake (Pflaumenkuchen) is a staple in many German homes, especially when having guests for coffee or tea. It’s so popular that every year between the months of July & September, in the southwestern city of Buhl, Germany there is a festival (Zwetschgenfest) to celebrate the annual plum harvest. During my brief studies on the subject I have found that there are two ways to prepare a plum kuchen, one being with a yeast base and the other with a cake batter. Due to my time constraints I chose the quicker cake batter option.
After preparing this simple coffee cake I know why it is so beloved in Germany. What is not to love about a dense yet tender spice cake adorned with tart plums and finished with a crispy cinnamon sugar topping! I prefer using a mixture of black, red, and yellow plums for contrasting flavor and color but any plum variety will work in this scrumptious cake. Serve it as a quick breakfast with coffee, as an afternoon snack with tea, or a satisfying dessert following dinner!
- 6.75 ounces (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar; divided
- 2 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 3/8 tsp. Salt; divided
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Cardamom
- 7 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; divided
- ½ cup Milk
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 pound Plums; quartered & pitted
- ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a 9 inch round springform or metal cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine flour, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, ¼ tsp. salt, allspice, and cardamom in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in 4 tbsp. butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Combine milk, vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Arrange plums in a circular pattern over the batter.
- Combine remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, remaining 1/8 tsp. salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl, stirring well. Place remaining 3 tbsp. butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir melted butter into sugar mixture. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over top of cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Cool in pan for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: PAUL GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017