Plum Küchen

A week or so ago, I saw prune plums on sale at the market. They have a short season, so if you can still find a few, grab a bag and make this German plum cake. The recipe is from an obscure cookbook (that is, you can’t find it on Amazon) with a collection of recipes from New England Inns, so I don’t mind reproducing it here. It’s all my favorite things in a dessert. The pastry is barely sweet, and the plums and sugar bake into a jammy layer that seeps into the crust. We finished the cake in two days, but just yesterday Little Five asked me if we still had some plum cake. Alas, he had eaten the last piece (the one I was hoping to save for myself). I might have to swing by and see if a few plums still linger in the produce aisles.

Self portrait on the 2nd day of kindergarten.

Self portrait on the 2nd day of kindergarten.

Plum Küchen

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 T. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 T. water

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

 

2 1/2 pounds Italian prune plums, washed, pitted and cut in half

4 T. butter

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cornstarch

 

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder. With your fingers, rub the softened butter into the flour mixture until well incorporated. Beat the water, egg and vanilla together in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Knead the dough together and press it into a 10-inch tart pan (if it’s too sticky to work with, chill it briefly).

Press the plum halves, cut side up, into the pastry dough. Slice the butter into thin pats and dot it over the plums. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch, and sprinkle thickly over the tart.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the plums are tender.

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