Makes 1 round cake
Juicy plums are excellent for eating out of hand, but baking with them is one of the finest pleasures at the end of summer. Their tartness and color inspire all kinds of treats, from crisps and crumbles to tarts and pies. This cake is made in a skillet with a heatproof handle and brought to the table looking rustic and appealing.
|Butter (for the pan)|
|7||black or red round plums, pitted and cut into 6 pieces|
|⅔||cup whole unblanched almonds|
|1¼||teaspoons baking powder|
|½||cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch skillet.
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2. In a food processor, combine the almonds and ¼ cup of the sugar. Pulse until finely ground. Set aside ¼ cup for the topping.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ground almond mixture, flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the remaining ½ cup sugar together for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the vanilla.
5. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the skillet, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Starting at the outside, arrange the plums in a slightly overlapping circular pattern around the edge. Make another row inside and fill the center. Sprinkle with the reserved almond sugar.
6. Bake the cake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set the skillet on a wire rack to cool. Before serving, warm the honey in the microwave for 10 seconds, and brush over the cake. Cut into wedges. Sally Pasley Vargas