Sometimes it's fun to conquer baking challenges -- braided bread, lattice-top pies, croissants -- but sometimes it's nice just to mix together a few ingredients and throw them in the oven. Here a cake batter is easily stirred up, poured into a skillet, and topped with fruit. No fuss, and a stunning and delicious dessert.
The cake is simple but tasty, and the cast iron gives the edges a nice crust. The plums, which I can find bitter in their fresh form, mellow out as they bake to become lightly sweet and tart, even the peel. A dollop of whipped cream makes a slice even better.
Some important tips to share: Wait until the cake is halfway done baking before adding the plums. The top row is the first cake I made, and you can see that the beautiful plums sank into the batter as the cake baked. Also, the plums were only in the center of the cake, so the outer edges didn't have any of the delicious fruit. In the bottom row, I added the plums after 15 minutes of baking, and you can see that they barely sank in. I also increased the number of plums to four, so every slice of cake has plenty of fruit.
Update: This post made the Foodbuzz Top 9! Thanks for all the buzz!
This post was shared with:
Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesdays
Sweets for a Saturday
Plum Skillet Cake
From Martha Stewart
4 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for skillet
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for skillet
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 large egg
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ripe medium plums, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron); dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat butter and ¾ cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk.
Pour batter into prepared skillet, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Fan plums on top, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.