This is a question from one of my customers, a real stumper...help please.
I’ve come to the store at the wrong times…when you weren’t there.
Dear Mr. Kiss,
When I was 10, we moved to a house with an Italian prune plum tree. I’ve been making a plum cake for 55 years with Italian prune plums. So have family members. It is fabulously popular with friends who request them from the freezer for birthdays and Christmas. I thought that I could win the Pillsbury Bake-Off with this recipe….except for the extremely short seasonal nature of the key ingredient!
It’s batter, halved plums on top, with crumble on top of the plums. A marvelous contrast of sweet and tart, soft cake and cooked plums vs. crispy top.
So! About 2-3 years ago, the plums started sinking to the bottom, no matter who is baking the cake. I have all the same baking pans, measuring implements, etc. Here’s a CLUE! In the early ‘70s, (Are you too young to have been around for this? J ) generics first showed up. These were oddly showy, stark white packaging with stark black lettering. White bag that just said FLOUR. White labels on cans that just said CORN or PEAS. When I bought that generic flour, The Plums Sank To The Bottom! When I returned to Gold Medal and Pillsbury, the problem never happened again until the last 2-3 years.
So what has been changed in the processing of flour in the last couple of years???? I also tried King Arthur—same thing. They’ve done something that was done to that generic flour 40 years ago! Do you have any ideas?
Thank you for considering this mystery.