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Day 224: Big Salad with Grilled Raspberry Chicken and Plum & Browned Butter Bliss

Plum+Pie-Cake
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I wasn’t sure what to call this. Technically it’s more cake than pie, but calling it cake doesn’t do justice to a pieplateload of juicy fruit topped with a sweet, crunchy topping; it’s not a pie either – it has no pastry but is baked in a pie plate and cut into wedges. The fruit-topping ratio is reminiscent of a crumble or a cobbler, but this is easier than any of the above. I could go as far as to call it foolproof.

Generally I don’t make dessert on a regular Monday night, but I had bought red and yellow plums on the weekend with something specific in mind – cobbler? Pie? Upside down cake? It was something, but today I had no idea what it was, and flipping through the rained-on-and-dried-out magazines on my front step gave no clues. Also, I happened to have whipping cream in the fridge, which almost never happens. So I couldn’t really not make something out of the plums.

I picked up one of my favourite cookbooks, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax (a cookbook Mike bought me literally decades ago just because he knew I liked cooking), and flipped through to a recipe I was instantly drawn to years ago, probably because the intro begins with: “Stick a bookmark right here, and leave it in.”  It’s called Ligita’s Quick Apple Cake (pg. 383), but it doesn’t need apples. Richard describes it as a “custardy batter quickly poured over apples and baked to a crusty gold.” I wouldn’t describe it as custardy, but would zero in on the browned butter – a simple step that intensifies the nutty buttery flavour a thousandfold. (I cut the butter by a third to 1/2 cup, and will likely try to reduce it a bit more next time, although it undoubtedly contributes to its crunchy, buttery bliss. I would have licked out the butter-melting pot if I wasn’t afraid of burning off my tastebuds.)

That’s it: I’ll call it Browned Butter Bliss. Today, Plum Browned Butter Bliss. This is one of those great go-to recipes that you could use with apples, pears, plums, peaches, berries, apricots, cherries… really anything that needs to be turned into something any time of year. I love the combination of sweet crunch on top and juicy sourness underneath, and the look of both yellow and red plums together.

Oh right, dinner. It seems uneventful after the Bliss – a big salad yukaflux with roasted beets, blueberries, peas from the garden and grilled chicken which I painted with some of the raspberry vinaigrette leftover from last weekend before I grilled it. It sounds much fancier than it actually was.

But seriously – Browned Butter Bliss. Once you make it, it will turn into one of those things that you stir together on autopilot whenever you need something fruity and delicious.

Plum+Pie-Cake
Plum+Pie-Cake

Browned Butter Bliss

Recipe link

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August 11, 2008

(by way of Ligita's Quick Apple Cake in Classic Home Desserts)

  • Makes: Serves 8.

Ingredients

8 or so plums, thickly sliced, or apricots, or 3 peaches, or the original calls for 3 tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced

a squeeze of lemon juice, if you're using apples

3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste, according to the sweetness of the fruit)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

1/2 cup butter

2 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a pie plate.

2Toss your fruit in a bowl (or the pie plate) with about 2 Tbsp. sugar and the cinnamon; spread into the plate. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and keep cooking it, swirling the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it turns golden. Pour into a bowl.

3Stir the 3/4 cup of sugar into the butter, then the eggs, then the flour. Pour over the fruit and sprinkle with the last tablespoon of sugar.

4Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and crusty, and the juices ooze from around the edges. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or thick vanilla yogurt.

Makes: Serves 8.
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13 comments on “Day 224: Big Salad with Grilled Raspberry Chicken and Plum & Browned Butter Bliss

  1. Colleen
    August 12, 2008 at 8:04 am

    This dessert looks really good and I have saved it but what I wanted to say is that last night I made the roasted chick peas and chard recipe from a few nights ago. FABULOUS. I had rainbow chard that I bought Friday at the Calgary Farmers’ Market and had to use it. I didn’t have the garlic head but used what was left in the jar of crushed garlic in the fridge. Fresh beans, new potatoes and a little bit of steak made a great supper. Not bad for a Monday night. Thanks for all these great and unique recipes Julie. I’m also lucky that my husband will try anything.

  2. Theresa
    August 13, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    You are my husbands favorite person in the world today. This apple bliss was incredible. REALLY INCREDIBLE. The last slice just disappeared. :) YUM

  3. Tara
    August 13, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    This was so good. I used up small amounts of raspberries, cherries, nectarine and fresh figs. It took 10 minutes to prepare! I took it to work the next morning and everyone raved. Thanks for yet another great recipe.

  4. Rhonda
    August 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    This dessert was amazing! It has become our favorite, we have made it using many different kinds of fruit. Today my 10yr old son and I made it with the blackberries we picked this afternoon…YUM!!
    Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us, I look forward to logging in every Sunday night.

    R

  5. sally
    September 22, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    We made the Bliss Cake and it was great. Easy and simple and truly delicious. I love your blog.

  6. Robin
    September 30, 2008 at 6:45 am

    My sister and I made this and it was great. I blogged about it at my blog http://robinblogz.blogspot.com/ and linked to your page.

    I love your blog.

  7. Andrea
    July 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I made this cake last night, and it was delicious! We’ve already eaten more than half of it. I’m going to post it on my blog and link back. I love your blog!
    337greenwich.blogspot.com

  8. Hillary
    October 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I just made the apple variant of this– I bet it’s even better with plums! This was really easy, and quite tasty.

  9. Barbara Bakes
    June 7, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I made this over the weekend and blogged about it today. So yummy. Thanks for sharing!

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