Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn

ITALIAN PLUM TIME

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Any regular reader of The New York Times food coverage in the 80's who was also on the lookout for easy baking ideas probably remembers this recipe. It's since become a bit of a cult classic republished often with different subtle changes. Every year at this time, when the Italian plums show up in the market, I find myself hunting down the recipe. Here it is posted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper from NPR's Splendid Table with a little history too.

This is the simplest recipe ever and every time I make the batter, I pause because there is so little of it (making me think I've forgotten something) which is spread very thinly on the bottom of a baking pan. Here I use a 9-inch cast-iron (because I never met a recipe I didn't want to try in it). Then, the plum halves are embedded on top and it always seems strange, like it'll never rise into a proper cake buried underneath all that fruit! But it always does. This is my kind of dessert, easily whipped up just before dinner--baking and scenting the room during dinner and served warm for dessert, melting ice-cream pooling into the crevices.

Leftovers also make a fantastic breakfast pastry.

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