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German Plum Cake

With cooler weather this week, I decided it was a good time to do a little baking. I try to squirrel away summer's bounty into my freezer and canning jars as much as possible, but over the years I've found that, when it comes to freezing, I like prepared foods rather than randomly frozen bags of fruit and vegetables. Those random bags tend to get lost under an avalanche of frozen meals, meat and bread. I've had great success freezing cakes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. They are perfect for the long winter when your parents or friends stop by for dinner with little notice. Just take the cake out of the freezer while you prepare dinner, and it will be defrosted by the time you're ready for dessert. Or, put it in a warm oven for a half hour.

So this week I've been freezing zucchini bread and plum cakes. Pints of plums just started appearing at the market and I am hopeful that it will be a long plum season after last year's stone fruit disaster. The German Plum cake, below, is a great vehicle for any type of plum or apple, especially those that might have lingered in your fridge for a while. (If you're curious about the zucchini bread recipe I use, I am obsessed with Heidi Swanson's, which makes two loafs and uses up three or so zucchini.) German Plum Cake | From Thibeault's Table ~makes 2 7" cakes or 1 12-13" cake using springform pans
  • 1/2 lb (8 tbls or 1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • a pint of plums (8-10), or 6-10 small apples
  • 2 cups flour (I use King Arthur's Gluten Free flour with 1 tsp xantham gum)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbls rum (not extract)
  • 3 tbls cinnamon sugar or brown sugar
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease your springform cake pan(s). Assemble your ingredients: mix together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Put butter and 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Halve and pit plums or slice apples.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and then beat in the eggs, vanilla, and rum, separately.
  3. Add the flour mixture in two batches to the butter mixture.
  4. Put one half or one quarter of the batter into the prepared pan(s). Top with the plums or apples sprinkled with 1-3 tablespoons of brown sugar (for plums) or cinnamon sugar (for apples). Top the fruit with remaining batter and smooth.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes for smaller pans, or 50-60 for a larger cake. Cool in the pan for a half hour and then serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or freeze.