Dancing with Sugar Plums: visions for a golden plum cake from dreamland

By • August 2, 2010 • 41 Comments


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Author Notes: Oh no: I am dreaming in plums. I woke up this morning with this idea for a golden plum cake made with saffron, lemon and almonds in my head. Since I was plum out of plums, I had to visit our local fruit market first thing this morning. And they had mini golden sweet plums just in from a local farmer: Irresistible. Ripe plums work best with this recipe. I am continuing to test drive my new crust recipe, which is really easy and really delicious. I think Arrowhead Mills Baking Mix is like the Bisquik of the gluten free market. I can't believe how easy and good this recipe is! My grandmother would have sifted confectionery sugar on top: just like fairy dust, I used to think.In her honor I have done the same. I was also thinking of trying this recipe with Dutch cocoa and walnuts, but so far that has turned out to be a nightmare. For interest I uploaded one photo, which looks innocent enough...but the taste was very bitter. Another time I will work on that further. For now, serving the golden plum cake slightly warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a side of vanilla ice cream is my dream come true.Sagegreen

Serves 4-6

Bottom

  • 1 1/8 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (Arrowhead Mills baking mix) If you are not interested in the gluten free option, you can use an organic pastry flour instead
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (fage)
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yoke of egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

Filling

  • 1 3/4-2 cup sweet golden plums, sliced thinly and depitted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 whole eggs, beaten (depending upon how "custardy" you like)
  • 4-6 ounces organic cane sugar (depending upon sweetness of plums)
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron stamens
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine zest of fresh lemon
  • 2 drops of almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon plum brandy or amaretto
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • sprinkle of demerara sugar and fresh nutmeg
  • 1 ounce toasted almonds
  • ice cream, whipped cream and/or sprinkle of confectionery sugar for final touches
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grind the almonds in a coffee grinder.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together for the bottom .
  3. Next mix in the yogurt.
  4. Add the oil one spoonful at a time.
  5. Add the yoke and spices. The mixture will consolidate quickly and remain crumbly-looking.
  6. Press this mix into your baking dish (@10") with an even pressure so the dough is thin (about 1/4" or even a bit less than that). Create walls that are 1 " tall. You can work quickly with this dough because it is so easy to work with, I find.
  7. Crimp the top of the wall with your favorite technique. I pinch a pattern with my thumb and forefinger. You can set this shell aside (even chill and use the next day).
  8. Sugar the plums with 3-4 tbl. organic cane sugar (depending upon their sweetness), a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  9. Whisk the cream and eggs together for the filling. If you want a more custard-like filling, use two full eggs. If not, use just one egg.
  10. Add the remaining cane sugar, saffron, almond extract, zest, juice, and brandy to the cream.
  11. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture into the shell. Arrange your plums on top. Pour in the remaining cream to fill the shell. Do not overfill.
  12. Top with toasted almonds, cinnamon and a sprinkle of demerara sugar and fresh nutmeg.
  13. Bake @25-30 minutes until golden brown and set even in the middle. Let cool for several hours or overnight so the filling sets further.
  14. Sift powdered sugar on top just before serving (slightly warm) with ice cream or whipped cream, listen to the Nutcracker, and savor every magical bite.

Tags: almond, cream, Easy, gluten-free, rustic, saffron, yellow plums

Comments (41) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

By the way . . . . I love how you took a photo of the golden plum cake on a plate with a gold rim. So beautifully done! Really like the powdered sugar, too. It's perfect for this dreamy kind of dessert. ;o)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks so much. I had it for breakfast this morning. I have streamlined my collection of dishes down quite a bit, but it is great to match a dish to a recipe.

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over 3 years ago fraîchement

Haha, AntoniaJames! I thought the same thing!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

I did plan that, too! My dishes are precious all with stories.

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over 3 years ago fraîchement

yum. and with the ice cream? double yum. i just got back from a hot, humid game of tennis, and this is one of the first things i see. it looks so delicious... if only i had some right now.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

If only you lived closer, you would be welcome to pop in for a slice. It has been great to have all this attention on one recipe!

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over 3 years ago Culinista Annouchka

This looks wonderful!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! It is a great summer cake you really only can make like this now. You could sift a pattern on the top with powdered sugar, but I like an even sifting. I just discovered your Vanillekipfel recipe, which looks great!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

...but you could use preserved plums in the winter for this...then I would add a few yellow raisins, too.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Well, I have decided on a few revisions for my golden plum cake and uploaded some new photos of those changes. Also I will share my little nightmare here of the chocolate walnut version, which I will need far more time to rectify. And yes, you can leave out the almonds in the crust, but play around with adding more flavor. I think you could alternatively grind up pine nuts and perhaps add a bit more sugar, too.

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over 3 years ago omarston

You should set up your own booth at the farmer's markets you go to!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! I am going to stick to the golden plum cake...my efforts adding chocolate and switching to walnuts and red plums were a little disaster!

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh, and I love your attention to detail. I think it matters too. When I'm developing something new, it literally takes over my kitchen. But I love it, as I think you do too.

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks wonderful, sagegreen! I can't do almonds, but am guessing I can just leave them out, right? This is definitely the next cake I'm making!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Well if you could do walnuts, I will let you know tomorrow how they work. I am still fine tuning whether to have 6 tbl canola oil and less yogurt, but hope to finalize my decision by tomorrow. I did make one just with the gluten free flour, just the yoke, more oil and less yogurt, with ginger and lemon zest, and it was pretty good. Now I am making one with a whole egg....so many little decisions, but it does matter.

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over 3 years ago Sunchowder

This tart looks fabulous! I must try making this is all of my spare time.....I can dream about making it at least ;)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. Sweet dreams!

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I am inspired to make a plum cake now!!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Be careful! You may not be able to stop. Yes, I am making that chocolate version, as we speak....when I really should be getting back to answering an important invitation from the U.S. Embassy.....well, as soon as this next cake is done...don't say I didn't warn you!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Just kidding....I am taking care of business first.

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I am done with the cake. It came out nice and moist and crumbly!! You are right this is addictive ;)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

I am so excited to hear your results. Glad you liked it. I am still fine tuning a few things, but will finalize this by tomorrow.

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over 3 years ago themissingingredient

My sweet tooth is kicking in seriously at the sight of your tart!! Beautiful

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

I am trying to make a much healthier version of this, but when it comes to the filling I think the fresh cream wins....so I get the best organic fresh cream I can. The crust is a big break through for me, achieving a gluten free version that is really easy and good. I will have to wean myself away from sugar after this week. Hope my neighbors will come a knocking for more.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

And thank you so much for the compliment!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Don't change it...sometimes healthy is overrated!!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. You are so right. The cream must stay!

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

Road trip time! I agree about being your neighbor :D

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Looks delicious - now I must hear about that gorgeous green-edged plate?

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. It is vintage Royal Doulton, "Countess," which I thought would be perfect for the sugar plum march. The other plate is from Hutschenreuter, Bavaria, by Helen Heyer. I just uploaded a photo of the powdered sugar version of this kuchen, in homage to my grandmother....a fairy dust finale.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

And the new pink plate is "Valencia" by Heinrich....with a wonderful but too long a story to convey here.....you must love dishes, too!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow! How gorgeous . . . no golden plums at my favorite markets, but pluots in every color imaginable, though most are dappled, so not as vivid as your pretty bright yellow ones. This tart is so beautiful! And it sounds incredibly tasty, too. ;o)

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you. I think this would be delicious with any number of plum colors! I just can't stop experimenting with these plum cakes, it is so much fun.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks fabulous - you are so funny - visions of sugarplums dancing in your head! Welcome to the "we need Food52 intervention" club!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Seriously! You are not just kidding. But work is beginning to knock on my door, so this can't continue too much longer.....but I swear these plums are as bad as the cherries!

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over 3 years ago adamnsvetcooking

Yum!! Can I have a slice please!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Yes! Seriously, I am giving away my plum cakes to neighbors now that I am making so many.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

But it would be bit of a trek from New Jersey!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How I'd love to be your neighbor . . . . . . ;o)