The clothesline sagged daily with the weight of sopping bathing suits and beach towels. For the last three weeks, the sun blazed as my family played together; boating, beach days, picnics, lazing on the pond, family get-togethers, friends dropping by, barbecues, kite flying, long country walks and veranda talks. We didn’t waste a moment. In the middle of it all was Coen. He’s only twenty months old and already he reigns supreme over our family. I marveled as he charmed his great grandparents, aunts and grandfather with something special for each of them. It’s uncanny how such a little boy already understands the power of love; how a tiny gesture can fill another to the rim.
He’s gone now.
We’re all back to our busy lives.
But we’re filled to the top.
You can imagine how plugged my fridge has been for the last month. You couldn’t have squished an extra grape in there. As I was sorting things out this morning, I found a bowl of shriveled looking plums. My first instinct was to throw them out, but after cutting one in half I discovered that the flesh inside looked perfect. I’ve been waiting to test a new cake recipe, so here goes.
PLUM UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
FOR THE TOPPING
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons any jam
- 6 plums, pitted and sliced into eighths – I left the wrinkly skin on since they would have wrinkled in the oven anyway
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
For the topping:
- Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Line the bottom with parchment paper then set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the sugar.
- Stir in the jam and heat until melted and combined.
- Simmer the mixture, STIRRING CONSTANTLY until the sugar is completely dissolved – 2 minutes
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and allow to cool completely.
- Once the sugar mixture is cooled, arrange the sliced plums on top.
- Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Scrape the sides, as needed.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk, mixing until just combined between each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.
- Pour the cake batter over the prepared fruit.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check your cake at 35 minutes – a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan, on a wire cooling rack, for 30 minutes.
- Turn onto a cake plate and serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.
THE LOVE: Make sure that you give the butter/sugar/jam mixture enough time for the sugar to completely melt. Use a low heat.
Thanks for reading.
photo of Coen in the pasture by Aunt TeeTee
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