Summer is halfway over, people. More than halfway over, in fact. It’s been hot as hell in New York, so right now I’m kind of excited for September, when I’ll hopefully be able to bust out a jacket or two and not feel like I’m dying if I put on a pair of jeans, but I also know that New York is going to k-i-l-l me this winter and all of my friends who moved to LA are going to be posting pictures of themselves cooking a turkey on the beach or something while I’m shivering over a trash can fire in some back alley. That’s a pretty accurate description of New York winters. Everyone warms their hands over giant piles of trash. This is, of course, the opposite of what happens in the summer, where we use said trash piles to shield ourselves from the oppressive sun. Whatever happens this winter, we’ll always have sweet summer memories, right fellow kids? Rockaway Beach, Governors Island, day drinking on Sunday afternoons and eating all of the grilled and barbecued foods we could possibly handle. I’ll try to keep doing these things until my sleeves get longer and the days get shorter. I do it for you, ya’ know.
Pretty bar, pretty sushi from Salt + Charcoal, milk bread from the same place, and ice cold rosé.
The is the perfect end-of-summer, oh-god-when-will-I-see-another-plum kind of cake to make. You can really use any stone fruit here: peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots…whatever floats your boat. In the fall, try making this cake with apples or pears, too – why not? The base is simple and perfect. It’s a light yellow cake, with a slightly crispy top, thanks to a quick sprinkle of granulated sugar before going into the oven. This is a satisfying cake to make because it’s super easy, completely unfussy, and the result is perfectly simple: just cake and fruit. This is the kind of thing you want to bring to your next picnic or barbecue, because people can cut off a slice and eat it happily with their hands. Be sure to save yourself a couple of slices for breakfast, though – it’s great with a big cup of coffee or tea, and the final bit of crust is sturdy enough to use to pick of any remaining crumbs, a cake-eating strategy you should all adopt to get the most out of any delicious baked good you may come across.
You’ve got to love a recipe with so few ingredients.
Get your batter together.
Arrange your plums on top, sprinkle with sugar and bake until set.
Let the cake cool for a bit before slicing and serving. Do I spy an heirloom tomato pie in the background? Yes, yes I do.
This cake will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more for your pan)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whole milk or buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3 medium sized plums, washed and thinly sliced (any stone fruit will work well here - peaches, apricots, nectarines, etc.)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 9-inch skillet or round cake pan well. Set aside.
- With a mixer, beat together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in your egg and beat until combined. Whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl, and add it alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Spread your batter into your prepared pan, and arrange your sliced plums over the top of the cake in an outward fanning circle (or whatever other design you prefer). The cake will bake up and around the fruit, so don't be afraid to overcrowd or squeeze them in there - this cake should look rustic, not perfect. Sprinkle the top of the cake with 2-3 more tablespoons of granulated (or raw, if you have it) sugar.
- Bake the cake until it is slightly golden and set, about 35-40 minutes. Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes before serving (it's great with whipped cream or ice cream). This cake can be made ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.