You may not be aware of this, but it’s plum season, most definitely. You may not be aware because, unlike my family, you probably don’t have at least ten plum trees in your garden. If you don’t have at least ten plum trees in your garden (a ridiculous amount for any family of five, let’s face it) you won’t know what it feels like to be completely inundated with plums every day.
We didn’t plant these plum trees. We inherited them with the house, along with the mammoth harvest we collect every July.
Not that this is a bad thing, of course, plums are delicious and everyone’s happy. It’s just that they grown and ripen much faster than we can pick and eat. There’s always a surplus which turns into a huge waste every year.
So, every summer, we spend hours harvesting plums and then trying to figure out what to do with all of them. Most, admittedly, become jam. Others turn into tarts. Some become things like upside down cakes. Again, everyone’s happy. Including the bees, who also are left a great many plums to delve into; and my dog, who too has discovered the tastiness of plum juice, and has taken to jumping up and pulling plums off the trees with her mouth.
Plum and Ginger Frangipane Upside Down Cake
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
80g plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Beat together butter and sugar until creamy and light. Mix in egg. Add almonds, flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon and stir well. The mixture should be a bit stiffer than a cake mix, but less crumbly than crumble.
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
120 ml milk
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter together until everything is combined and they resemble bread crumbs. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until combined.
Whisk the egg and remaining milk together in a separate bowl, then pour into the flour mixture and mix well until everything is incorporated.
Grease and line a cake tin well- this is important if your upside down cake is going to end up the right way up! Cut your plums (you’ll probably need about eight juicy ones) in half and remove the stones. Place cut side down in the tin. Pour the frangipane over the plums and, using your fingers, push down around them. This frangipane is deliberately a bit dryer than normal, more crumble-like than cake-like.
Pour your cake batter over the frangipane and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it is golden on top, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Flip your cake over so that the plums are on top.
Enjoy warm, maybe with a cup of strong coffee after a summer supper in the garden.