La Festa al Fresco: Fresh Plum Kuchen
Plums, I think, are severely underrated.
This kuchen showcases some of the plums which are in-season around here. I couldn't resist them at the market - they looked better than the peaches and nectarines alongside, and their bluish-black skins evoked memories of the tart-sweet taste. The kuchen is a great seasonal in-between for fruit desserts: lighter than a cake, a bit heavier than a crumble, and plenty flavorful with the slices of plums tucked between the two. The recipe's a combination from the Joy of Cooking and How to Be a Domestic Goddess, two of my baking favorites.
FRESH PLUM KUCHEN
1 c flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick/8 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp each vanilla and lemon extracts
2 large sliced plums
1/2 c flour
1/4 c light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 stick/4 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
1 c pecan pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x2 round pan.
Whisk together thoroughly the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the extracts.
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just all combined. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread as evenly as you can. Lay the plum slices over the top.
To make the topping, in a small bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix with your fingers or cut in until you have pea-sized clumps. Add the pecan pieces and mix together. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and batter.
Bake until the topping is slightly brown (you may wish to cover with foil if it goes too quickly) and a tester inserted comes out clean of batter, about 35 to 40 minutes.