Plum Crumble Cake

When I was a little girl, we lived in a house with a large plum tree. I remember it bursting into a million tiny white flowers in spring. In summer we could eat as many to our heart’s content. My sister and I loved the tree. Well, we hated having to pick up the rotten plums before my dad moved the lawn. Bees and wasps hovered over the overripe plums, and we had to pick them up and dump them in the trash can which after a few days would be stinking and full of foaming, fermenting plums. I wonder why we never thought of making plum liqueur!
But those plums! They were Santa Rosa plums with deep purple skin and oh so sweet. We would often reach up and pick them, eating them right under the tree, juice dripping down our chins. I do remember a few crumbles, served with vanilla ice cream, but I mostly remember eating them still warm and fresh of the tree.

For this recipe I used Italian plums, but the cake would be equally good with other types. Check to see how sweet your plums are before and adjust the amount of sugar. If your plums are very sweet, use less sugar. I like the idea of pairing plums with spices and added several to the topping. This crumble makes more than you need for the cake, so put the rest in a plastic bag and freeze until you need it again. I usually keep some in the freezer and add to ramekins filled with fruit for a quick dessert. No need to defrost!

Plum Crumble Cake

  • Italian plums, halved and pitted
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g soft butter
  • 100g flour
  • 120g walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a 24 cm round baking form with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and eggs until creamy. Add the slightly cooled, melted butter and vanilla extract and whisk. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Pour the batter into the form and use a spatula to even out the top. Place the plums in circles on top of the batter.

Place all the ingredients for the crumble in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Cover the plums with the crumble, using as much as you like. Place the rest in the freezer for a later use.

Bake the cake for about 45 min or until the tester comes out clean. Serve at room temperature as is or with ice cream or whipped cream.

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