Tag Archives: plum

Plum Cake

17 Aug

Hi there,

dude, it is hot. Hot and humid, which is a combination I don’t fancy. This is not the kind of weather that brings a plum cake to mind, but believe me, when I made this cake last week it was a perfect summer cake, very nice for dessert (with ice cream) or with a nice, giant cappuccino.

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So here we go:

Ingredients:
makes one cake about the size of a regular pie

1 pound plums, halved and stoned; I used Italian plums

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsps. dry yeast

1/2 stick butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
approx. 1/2 cup milk, lukewarm

1/2 tsp. sugar + some more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. salt

bread crumbs to sprinkle
vegetable oil to grease
cinnamon to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Add egg yolk, butter, and some milk, and start kneading. Keep kneading and adding milk, one table spoon at a time, until you have a nice dough ball. It will be a little sticky, due to the butter, but that’s okay. Leave in the bowl, cover with a teat towel, and let sit for approx. 2 hours.
Please note: I know that some people let the yeast work in the milk for some time before the kneading begins. Quite frankly, I never do that; I always knead everything together straight away, and it has always worked. However, this might not be the case with fresh yeast. If you don’t trust my recipe, use another one; the point is, in any case, to make a basic yeast dough.

To prepare the baking pan, grease it very lightly and sprinkle very lightly with bread crumbs.

When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl, and roll it (on a lightly floured surface) into the shape of your baking pan; transfer it into the baking pan, press gently to its bottom and sides, and prick with a fork repeatedly, lengthwise and crossways.

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Spread the plums on the crust evenly. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon to taste. Fold over the crust rim. This is how mine looked before baking:

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Bake for approx. 25 mins., until the crust is light brown, and the plums are bubbling.
Let cool a little before serving; tastes well with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

I think I’ll have to lie down now. Even typing is exhausting in this weather.
So long! xoxo,
F.

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Plum Preserves

14 Aug

Hello there!

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Beautiful, savory plum preserves!

Now, I had been given a recipe a while ago, and earlier this week I again fell victim to goodlooking, but boring-tasting plums, so I decided to use them up in a cake (recipe to be posted later), and in these preserves. HOWEVER, it turned out I had close to nothing at home in terms of required ingredients, and since I was unwilling to go grocery shopping again and kind of, well, just wanted to get this over with, I very, very freely adapted the recipe and this is the result.

Ingredients:
makes one jar

1 pound plums, stoned and quartered; I used Italian plums
1/4 cup dark balsamico vinegar
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup red wine; I used a Bordeaux
4 tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed

Directions:

In a medium pot, combine vinegar, sherry, wine, sugar, and pepper. Stir; bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let bubble for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.

Add the plums; stir carefully, and let cook 4-5 mins., not more. You should be left with tender fruit pieces in a syrupy liquid.

While still hot, fill into an airtight jar, close it carefully, and let sit upside down for a couple of minutes (to make sure no air gets in). Let cool, and keep in fridge.

Serve with bread and, most importantly, cheese. Enjoy!

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I honestly don’t know how much alcohol is left in this; probably not a lot. I for one, however, would keep this away from people who aren’t supposed to drink. Well.

Allright, then. I’ll post the cake recipe next (I just had a slice with some cheese grated on top, then shortly heated; what is it about plums and cheese? it’s a perfect match), and maybe a recipe for homemade croquettes later this week, IF they turn out well tonight.

Until then: eat well. xoxo,
F.

Plum Marzipan Pie

26 Jun

Hello there!

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Earlier this week I bought some plums. They looked good, and I had eaten some the week before which were good, so I cast all doubt aside – it does seem a bit early in the year for plums, no? – and took them home. They were a disappointment! No goody juicy plum flavor at all, just very boring and kind of stale. Soooooo I started thinking about what to do with them, because I am opposed to wasting food, and also because I had been looking forward to eating them. I find that tasteless fruit develops flavor when baked or cooked, don’t you? And sooooo I decided to make a pie, despite the heat outside. Marzipan goes well with plums, flavor-wise, and it also bakes well. Since it is not Christmas, I only added a hint, a tiny hint of cinnamon. The outcome of the whole endeavor: a beautiful little pie in which the refreshing, slightly sour flavor of the plums is combined with the almondy sweetness of the marzipan. Here we go:

Ingredients:
makes a small pie, i.e. is half of a regular recipe

1 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 stick butter, very cold, cut into pieces
1/8 cup ice water

10 plums
1 cup marzipan (approx. 7 oz.)
2 tbsps. brown sugar
cinnamon to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Add the butter; knead a little, then add half of the water and knead some more. Keep kneading and adding teaspoons of water until you have a smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into your fridge for approx. 30 mins.

In the meantime, wash, pit and quarter the plums. Cut the marzipan into pieces (about the same size as the plum quarters). Combine plums and marzipan with sugar and cinnamon; mix gently.

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Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Cut the dough ball in half. Roll out one half and transfer into your pie pan. Add the filling. Roll out the remaining dough; cut some small vents, i.e. using a cookie cutter. Put on top of the filling, and connect the two dough layers by pressing the rims together and tucking the bottom rim under the top rim (heck, this is hard to describe! I hope you get what I’m trying to say). If you want to brush the crust with water, egg white, or something else, now is the time (I tend to not do that).

Bake for about 50 mins., until the crust is light brown and the filling is throwing bubbles.
Let cool a little before eating. Enjoy!

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I did not add much sugar, since marzipan is sweet enough for my taste. I could, however, well imagine this pie with additional chocolate chunks or more cinnamon or nuts in the filling. Maybe at Christmas.

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