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Austrian Plum Cake (Zwetschgenkuchen)
1½ hours 10 minutes active
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This simple cake showcases tangy-sweet summertime plums. Both red and black varieties works beautifully. Just make sure to choose ripe, medium plums that still have a little firmness; soft, ultra-juicy fruits will make the center of the cake wet and soggy. Italian prune plums are great, too; use the same weight. But since they are small, cut them into halves instead of quarters. Ripe but firm pluots, a plum-apricot hybrid, are another excellent alternative. The flavor and texture of this cake are best the day of baking, but leftovers can be stored overnight in an airtight container at room temperature.
Don't forget to allow time for the butter to soften. Cold, firm butter won't blend well into the dry ingredients. And don’t underbake this cake; the plums let off a lot of juice that slows down the baking, especially at the center. When testing for doneness, make sure there are no moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
10 minutes active
grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
grams (½ cup) white sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon table salt
tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, room temperature
large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
teaspoons vanilla extract
pounds ripe but firm medium plums, quartered and pitted
Powdered sugar, to serve
01Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, then dust evenly with flour; tap out the excess.
02In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, 107 grams (½ cup) of the sugar, the baking powder and salt on low until combined, about 5 seconds. With the mixer running, add the butter 1 piece at a time and continue mixing just until the mixture resembles moist sand, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Increase to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.
03Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Arrange the plum quarters on top of the batter in 2 concentric circles, placing the pieces on their cut sides.
04Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, 1 to 1¼ hours.
05Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove the pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar.
Wow, this was a simple but elegant cake! I say it is worthy of serving to house guests. The tricky part is getting plums that right sweetness. Plums are in season now, but the ones we got were a bit on the tart side, but little whip cream topping sweetened it right up. I had 8" springform and 10", so I used the 8" springform, I'm glad I did. I tried this with peaches a few days later using a 10" springform and found it was bid too flat, 8" or 9" is the way to go. As far as peaches go, it worked. I used a little brown sugar and cinnamon on peaches, the peach had nice caramelization to them. The cake looks beautiful, I will be proud to serve it or bring it to someone's diner party.
Do you think this would work with peaches?