Welcome to My Hungry Boys where I share what I love to cook for my husband and our four sons.   I've made a lot of food over the years and I've learned a lot in the process. 

High Altitude Wild Plum Cake

High Altitude Wild Plum Cake

I have always believed that Marian Burros’s Plum Torte should be made exclusively with Italian plums (also known as prune plums), because they enhance the cake with a wonderful combination of tartness and sweetness. Until now. Just last week, I was at a farmers’ market in Colorado when I happened upon a stall selling wild plums (or chickasaw plums); after tasting a sample, I was quickly convinced that these tiny, sweet, and very tart plums would work perfectly in a cake. A few altitude adjustments later, my husband and I were happily enjoying this wild plum cake, which has officially won us over.

High Altitude Wild Plum Cake

Adapted from Marian Burros’s Italian Plum Torte

  • 4 tablespoons butter—room temperature - 2 ounces

  • ¼ cup oil (grapeseed, sunflower, canola…) - 1.75 ounces

  • ½ cup granulated sugar - 3.5 ounces

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour - 2.7 ounces - see note on accurately measuring flour here

  • ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal - 1.7 ounces

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 26 wild (or chickasaw) plums OR 13 Italian (or prune) plums

  • a squeeze of lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Prepare a 9 or a 10 inch pan by buttering and lining with parchment paper.  The original recipe calls for a springform pan, but I prefer a deep cake pan (I'm not a fan of the springform). Either will work.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder.

Beat butter.  Add ½ cup sugar and continue beating while adding the grapeseed oil.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the dry ingredients and then the vanilla and the water beating only until combined.  Pour into prepared pan.  Halve the plums and remove the pits. If using wild plums, halve the plums over a bowl to collect the juice. Top the batter with the plum halves, forming concentric circles.  Top with the collected wild plum juice and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Combine the tablespoon of sugar with the teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Bake ~30-40 minutes.  Cool completely.  Run knife around edge.  Flip onto a plate and then flip again (onto another plate) so that the plum side faces up.

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