Hanging on to Summer (in the form of dessert)

We’ve all been lamenting the summer’s end. And though we’re looking forward to the fall, and all that the autumnal harvest has to offer (have we mentioned that it’s apple season??), we’re still grasping onto the last of the summer fruit, which will be gone all too soon - within the next few weeks. We thought that plum season was already over, but Mr. Wickham told us we’ll have one more week to enjoy his farm’s excellent red plums, and we couldn’t be happier to hold on to summer just a little bit longer!Once you taste this cake, you will understand why the recipe has been so popular over the years. It is extremely simple to make, and it contains – besides the plums – a handful of very common pantry staples: flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice, and eggs. But don’t let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you. Once you add the plums to the top of the batter and the cake bakes up around them, the plums soften and their juices seep into the surrounding cake. It’s a delicious cake, made even more delicious as the cake sits overnight and the plum juices further penetrate it.Note: I didn’t have my springform pan on hand when I made this, but I wish I did. If you don’t have one, the cake will still bake up beautifully, but you may need to sacrifice the first slice in order to get the remaining slices out of the pan in one piece. Enjoy!

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  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Ready-in: 85 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (the aluminum-free kind, if you can find it)
  • 1 Large Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon (depending on sweetness of plums)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 12 Plums, halved and pitted
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.
  2. Cream 1 cup sugar and the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until light in color. Add the dry ingredients and then the eggs.
  3. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Cover the top of the batter with the plum halves, skin side up. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the lemon juice, adjusting to the tartness of the fruit. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  4. Bake until the cake is golden and the plums are bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack, then unmold.
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