Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Plum Cake Tatin
Plums were on sale at the market this week. They looked so juicy and delicious that I scooped up a bag full. I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with them, but they looked great and they were on sale. As I've said before, I sometimes get carried away with a bargain.(By the way, I still have some dates in the freezer!) So, I came home with about 10 plums.
Later that day I had the TV on the Food Network. Is there any other channel?? I tend to leave it on while I'm doing stuff around the house. (unless Sandra Lee is on ARGG, I'll just leave it at that,for now!)
So the Barefoot Contessa was on and making a plum cake tatin. I just knew we were switched at birth. Ina, I think I was meant to live your life!
Anyway, having attempted a tart tatin for the first time this fall, I thought I'd like to give this a try. This cake is really more like an upside down cake. It actually much easier than a tatin, so don't let the name intimidate you. The tatin part of this cake is the caramelized sugar that you pour over the fruit. So pretty!
The cake part is very simple, so this cake comes together much quicker than a tart tatin, but it's still very tasty.
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
10 to 12 purple "prune" plums, cut in half and pitted
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup sour cream
1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the plums in the dish, cut side down.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1⁄3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the plums.
Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3⁄4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the plums and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a plum sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar or freshly whipped cream.