6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (for mixing in with the egg whites)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe medium to large plums, peeled, pitted and sliced into sixths*(see note below about plums and pluots)
For Garnishing Top of Cake-Optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Butter and flour a 9-inch (23cm) cake pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and the 1/3 cup granulated sugar until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and beat until very smooth.
In a small bowl , stir together the flour and baking powder. In another small bowl, stir together the cream, water and almond and vanilla extracts. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites until they form very soft peaks. Sprinkle in the 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and continue to beat until semisoft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula or whisk , fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, breaking apart any lumps in the beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level the surface with a small spatula or the back of a spoon.
Arrange the plums in a circle on the top of the batter. Place in the center of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (180 C). Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool slightly.
If using a cake pan, run a knife blade around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake sides, invert onto the rack and then turn the cake right side up. If using a tart pan, push the removable bottom up releasing cake from sides of pan. Place cake on serving plate.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift confectioners' sugar evenly over the top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds (optional). Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Note: I used Pluots in this recipe. Pluots are a unique blending of flavors of both apricot and plum, but they definitely taste and look more like a plum. In some areas of the country, Dapple-Dandy Pluots are called "Dinosaur Eggs", or Dinosaur Plums" as they are quite large and have a reddish-green skin with spreckles on it. Pluots are extremly sweet and are available from June through September in the USA. The Dapple-Dandy Pluots are my favorite, and are available during August and September.
You can purchase Pluots online at Homeland Fruit Company. Their web address is: http://www.sunrosefruit.com/
When you reach their website, click on Plums and Pluots.
Date: August 14, 2002