03 August 2013

Weekend Cooking: Italian Plum Buckle with Lemon and Almonds

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Fresh Fruit Desserts by Sheryl and Mel LondonI know you've heard me gush over Sheryl and Mel London's Fresh Fruit Desserts many a few times, but it is truly one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I always turn to it first when summer fruit is at its best.

This week, the farmer's market had early apples, beautiful peaches, lingering blueberries, and lovely sweet plums. The temperatures have dropped a bit and I thought I'd take advantage of the weather and bake up those plums.

Although the recipe I'm sharing called for Italian plums (we always called them prune plums), any type of small plum will work. I chose little red fruits, and they were perfect in this down-home, simple buckle. If you don't have a food processor, just use a hand mixer or even a whisk.

By the way, I'm not at all sure Fresh Fruit Desserts is still in print, but if you find it at a yard sale, in a used-book store, or online, don't hesitate to buy it. Otherwise, check your library.

Italian Plum Buckle with Lemon and Almonds

For the cake
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 whole Italian plums, cut in half and pitted
For the topping
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 small wedge of lemon
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting the top
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375F and butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, lemon peel, almond extract, vanilla, and buttermilk and process until well combined.

copyright cbl for www.BethFishReads.comOn a piece of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add to the mixture in the food processor. The batter will be thick. Scrape into the prepared pan and place the plum halves, skin side up, in one layer over the batter.

Make the topping: Blend the butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl using a pastry blender until the butter is absorbed, then add the almonds. Sprinkle the streusel over the plums and squeeze the lemon wedge on top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Remove the rim of the springform pan and serve warm with a dusting of confectioners' sugar.


Tina 8/3/13, 6:21 AM  

Summer fruits are the best. I love the variety available this time of year. The prune plums are something I am very familiar with, grew up with those as a staple and probably ate too many.

I have to make this dessert before summer is over.

rhapsodyinbooks 8/3/13, 6:44 AM  

I love buckles! (and crumbles and crisps and so on!) This one sounds like it uses a great combo of ingredients.

Col (Col Reads) 8/3/13, 6:59 AM  

You had me at "plums" -- they are so perfect this year. I love the Londons' Versatile Grain and Elegant Bean, but I haven't seen this title. I bet it's great!

JoAnn 8/3/13, 7:48 AM  

This recipe reminds me of my childhood. My grandparents had an Italian plum tree that provided many delicious summer desserts!

caite 8/3/13, 8:18 AM  

love a buckle..and love that cover.

Beth S. 8/3/13, 8:53 AM  

I love the idea of adding lemon and almonds to a fruit crisp. If you add lemon to anything I'm usually in. I love lemon desserts.

bermudaonion 8/3/13, 9:06 AM  

I can't think of a dessert I've had with tomatoes and now I'm wondering why. That sounds heavenly!

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/3/13, 9:21 AM  

Wow, does this sound good! I am pinning it now.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 8/3/13, 9:37 AM  

I've promised pie this summer to my dad and two of his friends. Buckle certainly sounds like a delicious alternative....

Here's my Weekend Cooking post.

Unknown 8/3/13, 9:42 AM  

I adore plums, there's just something about the mix of tart and sweet. This is a lovely recipe. I'm bookmarking it, plums are just getting to my farmer's market.

Laurie C 8/3/13, 1:09 PM  

I never been a big fan of plums, but a recipe like this makes me realize I need to give them another chance!

Margot 8/3/13, 1:14 PM  

I confess to not having much experience with plums. I buy and eat whatever is in season at the market once or twice a year but that's it; I think there's a whole new food group for me to explore. You make these plums sound so good.

Joy 8/3/13, 5:41 PM  

That looks so good! A great use for the plums at the Farmers Market.

Joy's Book Blog

Linda 8/3/13, 6:15 PM  

Yummy. I'll try this next time I get some plums

Too Fond 8/4/13, 3:01 AM  

That sounds delicious--I love plums. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie 8/4/13, 12:28 PM  

I would love to see your cookbook collection. I bet it's amazing!

Gilion at Rose City Reader 8/4/13, 5:04 PM  

I love plum desserts! And I just picked a bunch of plums last week that are now in my freezer. I am going to pin this and make it!

Daryl 8/5/13, 9:57 AM  

found a new place for brunch .. come visit and we'll go there!

Andi 8/7/13, 4:29 PM  

I see this in my future THIS WEEKEND. I had a wonderful plum with my lunch today, and I want more, more, more!

Julie P. 8/8/13, 1:59 PM  

Oh my goodness - that recipes sounds positively delightful!

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