Now we all know the story of Little Jack Horner who sat in the corner eating his Christmas pie. For those of you who don’t, well, he stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum, and said “What a good boy am I”.
Since Little Jack Horner was such a good boy indeed, I decided to make an entire cake just for him! I’m really not much of a stone fruit person just because the flesh for the fruit always seems to get a little too tart for my liking nearer the pit. It’s almost like being chastised by that sour tang for the initial enjoyment of biting into its sweet, juicy flesh. It works in a way because I generally stay away from all kinds of stone fruit – peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, pluots… and whatever other hybrid they’ve come up with. Also, the fact that I’ve bitten into one too many underripe ones doesn’t help either.
So how did I come to buying plums and using them in a cake?
One of the best things about living in a condo on top of a mall is that I get to go skip around the supermarket downstairs near enough every day. It’s also an added bonus that our mall isn’t one of the more bustling ones apart from on weekends when I stay away anyway. Because our mall doesn’t get overly crowded, and also because our supermarket is one of the more upmarket ones within our neighbourhood, they don’t sell as much of their stock as quickly as most others.
As a result, I’ve taken it upon myself to trawl their discount fruit section each time I pop by in order to save some lucky ones from being turned into waste. Most of the time, the fruits that are put on 50% discount are actually right at the peak of consumption which means that they’re extremely sweet.
The other day, while making my round, I found myself ogling at a packet of Black Plums. I stared at how plump and juicy they looked, and they stared right back, daring me to spare them from possible annihilation. These plums, from tiny seeds, grew into beauties and were chosen to fly all the way from Spain to Singapore. What a waste, if they came for nought. So I decided to take them on.
Plum Almond Cake (Makes 1 8″ Round)
85g Butter, melted
100g Brown Sugar
95g Ground Almonds
70g Fine Wholegrain Flour (or Plain Flour)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 Plums, cut into 1/6th Slices
- Preheat oven to 175 deg C and line an 8″ baking tin.
- Stir butter with sugar and honey together.
- Whisk in egg and vanilla.
- Add ground almonds, wholegrain flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and top with plum slices.
- Bake for 30-40min until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out barely moist.
- Allow to cool before removing from tin.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving if desired.
I lied. Jack Horner didn’t receive this cake in the end. This Plum Cake ended up being a gift to one of the church aunties, a friend of Mum and Dad’s, for a big favour she did for them. It was well received as she stuck in her thumb and pulled out plum after plum. And let me assure you, them plums were succulent and sweet! I had to do my part and taste them before allowing them to take centre stage, and without a doubt, they so very rightly belonged there! Looks like we both ended up winners in our staring contest – I won in being able to create this gorgeous cake, and they won me over in what could have been a lifetime of stone fruit loathing.
Perhaps some things in life are worth a second chance, be they a food we hated as a child, a fruit, or even a person! We might found our initial apprehension towards them being further validated, or we just might find ourselves warming up to them instead. I did it with plums, now it’s your turn!!