Plum season is relatively short but sweet, running from August to October. I have fond memories of my Grandparents’ plum tree, which would seemingly burst into life with fruit ripe for picking in time for my birthday in September. I love plum in crumble (see this recipe for plum, rosemary and honey crumble) or simply stewed with a bit of cinnamon and served with Greek yoghurt. This recipe makes a star of the fruit as we see out the season; it has the lightness of a sponge but the richness of cheesecake, thanks to the creamy ricotta. The base can be used for other fruit, such as peaches, nectarines or apricots. To make it, you will need:
250g carton ricotta
140g butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
225g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the top
250g self-raising flour
200g pack ground almonds
4 tbsp plum or apricot jam
5 plums, quartered
Handful of flaked almonds, toasted
Icing sugar, to dust.
N.B. I halved the mixture as I wanted a wee cake, but it still turned out pretty big!
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ Gas4. In a bowl (I used my KitchenAid) beat the ricotta, butter, eggs and sugar together. (Note: it said to melt the butter, but I forgot and it turned out fine, just took more beating to get rid of lumps!)
2) Fold in the flour and ground almonds. This will make quite a thick batter.
Spoon half the batter into a greased and lined 23cm/ 9 in round cake tin. Evenly blob jam over the middle, then cover with the remaining batter.
3) Arrange the plum quarters (or cut them smaller if the pieces look too big) over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the leftover tablespoon of sugar.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours until risen and golden and the plums have shrivelled and caramelised. (My oven still took the whole time even with reduced quantities!)
Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Scatter with the flaked almonds, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Delicious on its own or served warm with some custard as an Autumnal dessert.
What are you baking this weekend? What have you made with plum recently?
Recipe via GoodFood’s ‘101 Teatime Treats’