Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Food Network's Summer Fest - Plum Upside Down Cake

It's time for another installment of Summer Fest -- this time it's plums.  I have to be honest -- I'm not much of a plum eater. I really prefer peaches, but I thought that I would give it a try and make something for plums.  My mom used to make the best pineapple upside down cake.  She would take a cast iron skillet, melt butter and brown sugar in it and then carefully lay out the pineapple rings with a cherry in the middle of the center one.  It was always a big Ta da when she flipped it over and revealed her beautiful work.  So I thought, what about doing the same thing but with plums.  I did a little research (since I don't really eat plums, I wasn't sure what flavors actually went with them) and this is the recipe I came up with based on the upside down plum cake I found on epicurious.com

For even more ideas on how to use plums read all the way to the bottom of this post for the list of other Summer Fest participants!

The bottom layer - which in fact becomes the top- started out with melted butter, brown sugar and a little honey.
After it was melted I poured it into a 9 inch cake pan.

I then sliced about 5 small black plums.....

...and arranged them on top of the melted butter and brown sugar mixture.

The cake is a basic white cake flavored with ginger to enhance the flavor of plums and then topped with toasted slivered almonds.  The cake batter is poured on top of the arranged plums and then baked  --the result was a sweet, almost caramely top with a light cake, delicious with some whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream. 

Topping the cake with toasted slivered almonds not only covers where the cake might have stuck to the pan but also gives a little added crunch.

To make Plum Upside Down Cake here's what you'll need:
6 Tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
5-6 medium sized plums

In a large heavy bottomed skillet melt the butter, brown sugar and honey.  Once melted, pour into a 9 inch cake pan.  Slice plums and arrange on top of the butter/sugar mixture.  Set aside.

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons of butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until light. Add in the eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla.
Combine the flour mixture with the butter/egg mixture alternatively with the milk until the cake batter comes together.

Top the butter/sugar/plums with the cake batter and smooth out the top, which now will be the top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.
Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes before turning it out onto a large plate or platter.

In a small skillet, toast 1/4 cup slivered almonds on low heat just until the nuts are toasted and fragrant.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the nuts.

Makes 8-10 servings.

For more ways to use plums be sure to check out these recipes from the other participants of Summer Fest!

Ingredients, Inc.  Pork, Plums and Rosemary Kabobs
Virtually Homemade:   Grilled Plum Pizza With Goat Cheese
Cooking Channel:  Best Plum Dessert Recipes
BGSK:  Grandma Esther's Plum and Walnut Cake
Delicious Lean:   Plum Delicious Pork Chops
Daily*Dishin:   Roasted Chicken With Plum Chili Salsa
Healthy Eats:   6 Ways to Cook With Plums
Napa Farmhouse 1885:    Time for Plum Cobbler?
Thursday Night Dinner:   Plum BBQ Chicken
Cooking With Elise:   Vanilla Plum Tart
Sweet Life Bake:   Plum Pineapple Margarita
And Love It Too:  Plum Pickin' Pineapple Jam
FN Dish:    Perfect Plum Recipes


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