July 23rd, 2009
There’s something about summer fruit that makes me want to bake. Aside from chomping on a perfectly ripe, juicy plum, nectarine, or peach, nothing beats summer fruit crumbles, galettes, cobblers, and crisps. I can’t get enough. But, as you know, a baker I am not (though I’m getting better!).
I know what fruit combos work, and I know how to spice anything—even a cake. But, unlike with savory cooking, my baking inspiration comes straight from the cookbook (or Michelle). I look for simple, quick recipes that I can’t mess up, which is what drew me to this open-face cake by Martha Stewart when considering a dessert for the beautiful, tiny plums I had leftover from the market. I also liked that it was relatively low in sugar and not too buttery. I know—that sounds ludicrous when talking about cake. But this was meant to be a light, impromptu dessert for the whole family. Not a decadent gut bomb. (Everything has it’s place.)
I halved the Martha recipe, which explains some of the funny measurements. It worked perfectly and yielded 4 individual cakes (made in 3.5″ ramekins).
Quick Individual Plum and Blueberry Cakes, adapted from Martha Stewart Living
(can be served to kids 8+ mos)
3/4 c organic all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/8 c organic sugar, plus 2 tsp for topping
1/4 c organic almond milk or whole milk (use whole milk for eaters 12+ mos)
1/8 c organic vegetable oil
1 organic egg
8 organic baby plums, halved and pitted OR 3-4 large plum, halved, pitted, quartered
handful organic blueberries
1/8 tsp organic cinnamon
1 tbsp organic cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing ramekins
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter four 3.5″ ramekins. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine 3/8 cup sugar, milk, oil, and egg. Fold into flour mixture.
2. Divide batter evenly between prepared ramekins and smooth tops. Arrange plums, cut sides up, over batter. Sprinkle a few blueberries on top, too.
3. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over fruit. Dot each cake with butter. Bake until tops are dark golden, fruit is soft, and a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
Note: Cakes are best the day you make them; leftover cake is great for breakfast the next day. We had one that sat in the fridge for two days and had to be eaten. I warmed it quickly (for 10-12 seconds) in the microwave and drizzled some maple syrup over it—delicious!