Plum Crumb Cake for Sue

It was Sue‘s birthday this week. (She was born on the fourth of July, and her Dad jokingly told relatives they thus named her Martha Washington. A few believed them and the name stuck for longer than it should have.) She came for the weekend to do some cooking shows at the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre at the Calgary Stampede, and so after two back to back shows this afternoon, we came back here for an impromptu birthday dinner. This morning I baked a cake.

What kind of cake was dictated by time (as in not enough to bother with frosting and decorating), temperature (any buttercream would melt right off in today’s heat) and season (anything other than a fruit-laced cake seemed hardly summery enough). I had a few plums in the fruit bowl. and so decided on a big crumb cake, made with a thin batter on the bottom, just enough to act as a sort of cakey crust for the fruit, which then supported a layer of jumbo crumbs on top.

One of my five plums, once cut open, was a dud – and so I tucked raspberries in to fill the gaps. It was almost as if I planned it that way – the two are a delicious pairing. As are most summer fruits, really – the great thing about this sort of a cake – besides its ease and deliciousness – is that it can be called into service with any sort of fruit; peaches, berries, apples, pears – anything will do. It’s a perfect recipe to go with the seasons – what you have, what’s best, or what needs to be used up.

A big crumb cake can transform a wrinkly or sub-par fruit into something sublime. Imagine what it does to the great ones? The only problem with this one was that I had to turn the oven on to make it.

So. Hot. Fortunately, this is a great cake to eat on the back porch, on your lap. Happy summering!

Plum Crumb Cake

AuthorJulie

Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla or the grated zest of a lemon
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5-8 plums, pitted and cut into wedges
Crumb
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2-1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch round baking pan with high sides, or a 10-inch quiche dish, or whatever you have that will accommodate such a cake.

2

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla or lemon zest and beat until thick and pale yellow. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed or stir by hand just until combined.

3

Spread the batter in the pan, smoothing the top, and arrange the plum slices (or other fruit) over it in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Or whatever.

4

In a food processor, pulse together all the crumb ingredients until well blended. If you don't have a food processor, chop the walnuts and blend everything with a fork or your fingers.

5

Sprinkle the crumbs over the fruit, squeezing as you go to create big clumps, and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the cake part is springy to the touch, or a tester comes out or or less clean (with some fruit on it).

Category

Ingredients

Cake
 1/2 cup butter, softened
 3/4 cup sugar
 2 large eggs
 1 tsp. vanilla or the grated zest of a lemon
 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1/4 tsp. salt
 5-8 plums, pitted and cut into wedges
Crumb
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
 1/2-1 cup walnuts
 1/3 cup butter
 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch round baking pan with high sides, or a 10-inch quiche dish, or whatever you have that will accommodate such a cake.

2

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla or lemon zest and beat until thick and pale yellow. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed or stir by hand just until combined.

3

Spread the batter in the pan, smoothing the top, and arrange the plum slices (or other fruit) over it in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Or whatever.

4

In a food processor, pulse together all the crumb ingredients until well blended. If you don't have a food processor, chop the walnuts and blend everything with a fork or your fingers.

5

Sprinkle the crumbs over the fruit, squeezing as you go to create big clumps, and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the cake part is springy to the touch, or a tester comes out or or less clean (with some fruit on it).

Plum Crumb Cake
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7 comments on “Plum Crumb Cake for Sue

  1. Erica B.
    July 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Sue!

    So hot here too & kinda humid(weird for Alberta weather) I won’t be turning the oven on in this heat but I definitely have to make this cake in the near future! 🙂

  2. Colleen
    July 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for this recipe. As traditional pie crusts scare me, I am going to try this using the saskatoon berries that are almost ready in our yard. There will be enough ready at the same time this year for at least 1 pie. Yum. Oh and maybe wait until the weather has cooled down a bit.

  3. Barb
    July 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Happy Birthday Sue! A crumb cake is a great kind of cake for a birthday. Celebrating it with friends makes it even better.

  4. Marc @ NoRecipes
    July 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I’d much rather have one of these than a fancy layered cake. I love that you added raspberries with the plums. I have some apricots that are reaching their golden years (days?), so I’m off to go make a crumb cake:-)

  5. Irm
    July 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Mmmmm….made it tonite with blueberries and raspberries!!! A total hit in our house! Thanks Julie and Happy Be-Lated Sue!!!

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