The little monkey loves fruits and we always make sure we have a variety of fruits all stocked up in our refrigerator. And sometimes (read ‘most often’), we go overboard and I usually find myself staring at all those overripe fruits and wondering what to do with them before they go bad. Usually most of them end up as fruit smoothies that we make in bulk which lasts us a whole week. But sigh, whatever are you supposed to do with almost 4 pounds of plum, all ready and ripe at the same time? Well, you could make a buckle or two…a yummy plum buckle, that is!
A buckle is a rustic, old-fashioned cake with fruits mixed in and they are usually topped with a cinnamon streusel. The plums can be replaced with blueberries, peaches, apples, pears or whatever seasonal fruits that you have on hand. Here, the slight tartness of the plums along with the sweet cake makes for a very refreshing and tasty flavor profile. Also, the contrast of colors from the baked bright red plums and the light-colored cake makes it a stunner of a cake.
The cake has a texture similar to that of a very moist coffee cake and it smells divine thanks to all that fruit and the cinnamon streusel on top. As good as it is as a simple snack cake, it tastes even better slightly warmed and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…yum! Make sure you push the fruit slices well into the batter, though, since it rises a bit while baking.
Recipe source: Williams Sonoma
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs, at room temp
6 to 8 plums (about 1 pound) halved, pitted and each cut into 4 slices
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the paper with more spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and the 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Poke the plum slices into the batter, placing them close together. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the 1 Tbs. sugar and sprinkle over the surface.
Bake until the top is golden, the edges pull away from the pan, and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.