I think that the older I get I sometimes become more impatient about things that I want right now. Every year Spring and Summer pass and although I am upset to see these seasons leave, I am once again reminded that Italian plums are now in their prime. I do wish their ripening occurred earlier in the summer as with other fruits, but I have to admit that they are well worth the wait and anticipation. It's kind of like figs; get them now or forget them. They won't be the same at Christmas time. Unlike figs though, you only have one shot with Italian plums, and that's right now.
As the cake bakes the juices from the plums mixes with it. The riper the plums, the better. Not only is this a feast for your sense of smell, but wait until you take that first bite. It is reminiscent of the coffee cake my German girlfriend's mother made called "German Kuchen". Ever since eating that cake I have wanted something similar. This is not only similar but the texture is denser, it's easier to make because you don't have to use yeast, and makes for a great breakfast substitute for muffins or toast.
This is a very old recipe, it is easy to prepare and delicious.
Italian Plum Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds Italian plums, halved and pitted (16-18 plums)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture. Beat in eggs, and vanilla.
Spread batter into a well greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch Pyrex pan, or pan of comparable size. Put halved pitted plums over top of batter (I place mine skin side up so the juices run into the cake), and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
NOTES - You can use a mixture of fruits in season such as blueberries, peaches, grapes, or apples. You can also add a small amount of well drained crushed pineapple to the batter.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
adapted from Lynnes country kitchen