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

August  2, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • Bottom
  • 1 1/8 cups 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 cups 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • fraîchement
  • Culinista Annouchka
    Culinista Annouchka
  • Sagegreen
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

41 Reviews

AntoniaJames August 4, 2010
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)
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
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.
fraîchement August 4, 2010
Haha, AntoniaJames! I thought the same thing!
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
I did plan that, too! My dishes are precious all with stories.
fraîchement August 4, 2010
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.
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
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!
Culinista A. August 4, 2010
This looks wonderful!
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
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!
Sagegreen August 4, 2010
...but you could use preserved plums in the winter for this...then I would add a few yellow raisins, too.
Sagegreen August 3, 2010
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.
omarston August 2, 2010
You should set up your own booth at the farmer's markets you go to!
Sagegreen August 3, 2010
Thanks! I am going to stick to the golden plum efforts adding chocolate and switching to walnuts and red plums were a little disaster!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 2, 2010
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.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 2, 2010
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!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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 many little decisions, but it does matter.
Sunchowder August 2, 2010
This tart looks fabulous! I must try making this is all of my spare time.....I can dream about making it at least ;)
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
Thanks. Sweet dreams!
adamnsvetcooking August 2, 2010
I am inspired to make a plum cake now!!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
Just kidding....I am taking care of business first.
adamnsvetcooking August 2, 2010
I am done with the cake. It came out nice and moist and crumbly!! You are right this is addictive ;)
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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.
themissingingredient August 2, 2010
My sweet tooth is kicking in seriously at the sight of your tart!! Beautiful
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
I am trying to make a much healthier version of this, but when it comes to the filling I think the fresh cream 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.
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
And thank you so much for the compliment!
dymnyno August 2, 2010
Don't change it...sometimes healthy is overrated!!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
Thanks. You are so right. The cream must stay!
adamnsvetcooking August 2, 2010
Road trip time! I agree about being your neighbor :D
Lizthechef August 2, 2010
Looks delicious - now I must hear about that gorgeous green-edged plate?
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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.
Sagegreen August 3, 2010
And the new pink plate is "Valencia" by Heinrich....with a wonderful but too long a story to convey must love dishes, too!
AntoniaJames August 2, 2010
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)
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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.
aargersi August 2, 2010
This looks fabulous - you are so funny - visions of sugarplums dancing in your head! Welcome to the "we need Food52 intervention" club!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
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!
adamnsvetcooking August 2, 2010
Yum!! Can I have a slice please!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
Yes! Seriously, I am giving away my plum cakes to neighbors now that I am making so many.
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
But it would be bit of a trek from New Jersey!
AntoniaJames August 2, 2010
How I'd love to be your neighbor . . . . . . ;o)