Friday, October 30, 2009

regular folks like you and me

Is it the end of October already? I haven't even finished talking about summer yet.

This was a great year for plums and my mother-in-law dropped a metric ton of them on us about a month ago.

We ate some, we froze some and there were still a whole bunch left.

Many got turned into cake

I think I made about four of these in the course of a few days. 1 1/2 times the old faithful recipe from this post was just right for my larger baking pan.

Still more went into muffins. I made blueberry ones as well from berries we bought at a roadside stand. So good!

And let's not forget the Zwetschgenknödel, the plum dumplings I've been making every summer for years and years.

The recipe and detailed information can be found here.

It suddenly occured to me that these might be freezable so I did some research and yes, indeed, you can freeze the raw, filled dumplings and then simmer them for 20 minutes in boiling water before serving. We enjoyed a batch from the freezer last night and they were very nice.

It's a bit late in the year for fresh plums now, but if you're still in a baking mood my mother recently sent me a recipe for a cake made with the next best thing - prunes. Don't be afraid, prunes are delicious and not just for old people!

This is not a fancy, fluffy cake. It's dense and a bit chewy and all those nutritious prunes and walnuts in there really keep things running smoothly, if you know what I mean.

Spiced Prune Cake - Mausi's Mum

Note: Even if it looks done, be sure to bake this cake for as long as the recipe specifies so that it can caramelize and easily release from the pan.

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for the pan
2 cups all purpose flour plus more for the pan
1 cup pitted prunes
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup low-fat buttermilk*
3 large eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a non-stick Bundt pan (12 cup capacity) tapping out excess flour, set aside.

2.Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, remove from heat and add prunes. Cover and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain prunes and finely chop, set aside.

3.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together oil, buttermilk, and eggs. Add oil mixture to flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in prunes and nuts.

4. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and the cake has pulled away COMPLETELY from sides of the pan. 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.

5. Immediately invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely and transfer to serving plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

* If you can't find buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in measuring cup and add milk to equal 1 cup. Let sit for 10 minutes before using.

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At November 10, 2009 6:38 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

My wheels are spinning for the kinds of things I can make once I'm in your neck of the woods, Christina. There is a farmer's market nearby the apartment in Gorinchem every Monday morning. I want that to be a regular "routine" for me...something I hate to miss. When I find good deals, I will want to have recipes to die for! Thanks for the inspiration. :)


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