Last week I went to Costco, and was so thrilled by the bounty of summer fruit that I bought Costco-sized packages of nectarines, peaches and plums. I guess I went a little overboard. I do that sometimes.
Well, you know what they say. If life gives you too many plums, make Plum Cake!
As I searched through plum recipes, I came upon this delicious-looking Plum Cake "Tatin" by Ina Garten. I decided to try it since, when it comes to all things food, she's my go-to gal. First, however, I just had to know - what is "Tatin"? According to the Epicurious Dictionary, it is defined as this:
Tarte Tatin [tart tah-TAN ]
A famous French upside-down apple TART made by covering the bottom of a shallow baking dish with butter and sugar, then apples and finally a pastry crust. While baking, the sugar and butter create a delicious CARAMEL that becomes the topping when the tart is inverted onto a serving plate. The tart was created by two French sisters who lived in the Loire Valley and earned their living making it. The French call this dessert tarte des demoiselles Tatin , "the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin."
So there you go. A dessert for spinsters.
Start by cutting your plums in half, removing the pit, and placing them cut side down in a greased 9-inch glass pie pan. Dissolve the sugar in water and boil until in turns a light amber color. Pour over the plums.
Mix the cake batter and spoon over the plums. Place the pan on a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Trust me on this one. You'll thank me later.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes and then invert onto a plate. See how pretty it looks?
If I were to make one teeny tiny change to the recipe, I would skip the caramelized sugar step and put butter and brown sugar at the bottom of the pan like you would in a pineapple upside-down cake. Other than that, this recipe was perfect. The batter is extremely delicious and the plums came out softened, but still firm enough to hold their shape.
How delicious is that?
Plum Cake "Tatin"
Adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
- 10 to 12 purple "prune" plums (Ina used these cuties) cut in half and pitted
- or 5 - 6 regular plums (which is what I had from Costco!)
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 ounces goat cheese (I used this - delish!) Ina used 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the plums in the dish, cut side down.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a smallsaucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the plums.
ALTERNATIVELY: Melt 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Spread onto bottom of the pie pan. Top with plums, cut side down.
Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the plums and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a plum sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.
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