Geese are heading South over Manhattan this morning.
So briefly, before it’s too late, before the plums are all gone, here is Nigel Slater‘s “Wonderfully moist, fresh plum cake.” It is exactly that, at the very least.
It is autumnal and luscious. With a crunch from the chopped walnuts and a hint of spice, which I couldn’t resist adding to the recipe.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries
I have doubled the recipe and I doubt anyone would mind. However if it is just for one or two, the recipe can easily be halved. The cooking time would then be 40 – 45 minutes at an oven temperature of 350°F (180°C).
1 1/2 cups (300 g) butter
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
1 1/4 cups (150 g) flour
3 tsps baking powder
2 cups (200 g) ground almonds (1 1/2 cups whole almonds yields 2 cups once ground)
1 cup (100 g) walnuts
Zest from 1 lemon
2 Tbsps muscovado (dark brown) sugar
2 tsps powdered ginger
Preheat oven to 375°F (200°C).
Line the base of a cake tin 10 1/2 inch (27 cm) in diameter with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the tin.
Wash the plums, halve them, remove the stones, and cut each half again in two. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl, break the eggs and beat them slightly with a fork. Then add them little by little to the butter/sugar mixture.
Sift the flour together with the baking powder and fold in gently with a spatula or wooden spoon. Gently add the lemon zest and ground almonds.
Roughly chop the walnuts and add them too.
Sprinkle the muscovado sugar and ginger onto the plums and toss carefully, preferably with bare hands in order not to squash the plums.
Scrape the batter into the cake tin and place the plums on top, pushing them into the batter ever so slightly (they will sink in more as the cake cooks).
Bake the cake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife or skewer into the cake, which should come out clean. But also gently move the cake tin. If the center jiggles it needs a little more time.
Let the cake cool a little before removing from the tin.