Cake, Laugh

Upside Down Plum Cornmeal Cake – Recipe!

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Plums have a juicy sweet interior with a tangy skin and when bitten into, have a nice balance of flavors. Plums range in color from amber to crimson red – each of them slightly unique in taste, and all are great for baking.  The heat of the oven softens plums nicely where they almost become jam-like when cooked in desserts.

Upside Down Cakes are a simple preparation and are enjoyable as dessert, or for a breakfast treat. I was inspired to make a cornmeal cake after tasting one at the farmer’s market in Santa Monica.  The light corn flavors were so refreshing with fresh fruit, so I created something similar, but using fresh plums. This Upside Down Plum Cornmeal Cake is light and airy and prepared in a cast iron skillet on the stove top and then baked in the oven.

I love a good slice of this cake as a late breakfast with a cup of good coffee.  The leftovers, slice up nicely for lunch boxes, or an after school treat with friends.

Ingredients

1 stick butter, room temperature + 6 tablespoons

1 cup granulated sugar

2 extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

8 firm plums, any variety

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, optional

(Serves 12)

To Prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice plums in half and set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and eggs and mix again for 2 minutes.  Add in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix on low for 30 seconds.

2.  Add in the yogurt and milk, and mix on low for 1 minute.  Do not over mix.  In an iron skillet, add 6 tablespoons of butter and brown sugar, place over medium heat.  When butter and sugar are melted and lightly bubbly, add the halved plums cut-side-down in the skillet.

3.  Pour the batter over the top of plums and spread evenly.  Place the skillet on a sheet pan and put in the oven to bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.  Remove the cake and let cool for 5 minutes.  Loosen the perimeter with a table knife and invert onto a large plate or platter. Let the Upside Down Plum Cornmeal Cake cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.  Enjoy!

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