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!I’m not sure who wouldn’t love a freshly picked, perfectly ripe, beautiful plum. Please don’t tell me if you don’t! We might not be able to be friends!
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.)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups sliced plums
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pandan paste
- 1¾ 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!)
- Remove the pan from the oven and gently tilt it around, coating the bottom and sides with the butter. Then evenly sprinkle in the brown sugar, followed by a layer of the plums. Set aside.
- 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.