I feel so fortunate to live close to my parents. They’re very close with my boys, they can watch their grandchildren grow up, and they often babysit so I can have a moment here and there. I can pick up what they need when I’m out, I can cook for them, they host lovely family events, and they always have a cup of sugar or a light bulb! And in the summertime, I’m especially grateful for their gorgeous plum tree! It’s a win-win!
Just like strawberries and avocados, I love plums in their pure form. In the past week or so I’ve eaten more than I can count and still have a bag full. I’m absolutely not complaining — this is an excellent scenario! A scenario that created this cake!
I wanted a nutty-fruity combination, which is why I used almond meal and pandan paste. I was thrilled to have the pandan in my pantry because I knew the lovely green color it gives to foods would be gorgeous with the deep red plums! Pandan is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia. Many people think that pandan is to Asia what vanilla is to the Western world (though with a completely different taste.) To use pandan, the leaves are made into a paste or extract, which has a subtle nutty-floral flavor. (You can get it here.)
This cake is vibrant, rich in flavor, and moist through and through. YUM!
For the topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups sliced plums
For the cake:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pandan paste
1 3/4 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon apricot jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a round, 9 X 2-inch cake pan by melting the 2 tablespoons of butter in it. Place the butter in the cake pan, and while the oven is warming up, place the pan in it for a couple of minutes. (I like to leave it the oven about 30 seconds or so beyond melting it, to let it bubble and get a little bit brown — this adds a lovely nutty flavor!)
To make the cake batter, use an electric mixer on a high speed to beat the eggs with the sugar until the volume has almost tripled. This will take about 7 minutes. Add the pandan and beat for another few seconds — until there is a nice light green hue. Now use a large mixing spoon to mix in the almond meal, vanilla, and honey. Once it’s nicely combined, fold in the melted butter.
Pour the cake batter directly over the plums in the cake pan and place it in the oven until the cake has solidified — it should be slightly golden and the center shouldn’t jiggle when you gently move the pan. The baking time is approximately 35 minutes.
Let the cake sit for about 10 minutes and then invert it onto a large platter.
In a tiny sauce pan or in a glass bowl for the microwave, heat 1 tablespoon of water with the apricot jam. Mix it with a spoon and then use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the plums. This will give the top of the cake an extra sheen. Let the cake sit another 30 minutes before serving.
Since the only “flour” in this cake is the almond meal, my gluten-free husband and seven-year old son can also partake! Yay!