some Butter to grease the pan and some Flour to dust over it
8 large Quetsch Plums (about 1 pound or 550 grams), cut in half and pitted
1 cup/220g of granulated White Sugar, plus 4 Tablespoons of Sugar divided into two equal parts (2 Tablespoons and 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 / 60ml cup of Brandy or Cognac
8 Tablespoons / 115 g of Butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon of Lemon Zest, finely grated
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 cup / 170g of Flour
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
2 large Eggs, at room temperature
1 ounce of Walnuts (25 grams), toasted, ground and cooled (or about 1/4 cup of ground, toasted walnuts, cooled)
some Powdered Sugar to sprinkle over the baked cake
a bowl of lightly whipped and sweetened Heavy Cream is nice to serve alongside the cake
a Processor or Blender for grinding the walnuts
a 9-inch Springform Pan, lined with Parchment Paper
2 Mixing Bowls
a Mixer, hand or standing
a small Strainer for sprinkling powdered sugar over the baked cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter, dust it with flour, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Place the halved and pitted plums in a bowl. Pour the brandy over them and sprinkle them with 2 Tablespoons of the sugar divided into two parts
3. Cream the butter with 1 cup of sugar, the grated lemon zest, and the vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and beat them into the butter.
4. Beat the eggs until they start to foam. Add them and the walnuts to the flour and butter:
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Arrange the plums on top in rings, cut side down. Sprinkle with any remaining brandy/sugar syrup and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar. (The syrup may leak from the pan onto the oven floor. A piece of foil placed on the rack below the one holding the cake will catch the drips).
6. Bake the cake for 1 hour, or until it is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes… …before removing the ring of the springform pan and transferring the cake to a plate. (It isn’t essential to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan and peel off the parchment. The cake is best when served warm and before it cools it’s difficult to remove the paper.) Put a little powdered sugar in a small strainer and sieve the sugar over the top of the cake……before removing the ring of the springform pan and transferring the cake to a plate.
Recipe from US Diplomatic corps