Susan’s Gone Plum Crazy


Photo: Joanna Kosinska

If you’re like Chef Susan Feniger and wondering what to do with your abundance of plums this summer, try our Cardamom Plum Cake with Ginger Crema Sorbet.  

Cardamom Plum Cakes

Makes 14 mini cakes (or 2 9-inch round cakes)

7 ounces unsalted butter plus extra for ramekins
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
A pinch of nutmeg, ginger, mace, and vanilla bean scrapings
14 fresh plums, halved

Cake Batter
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 1/4 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/8 cup whole milk
3/4 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter and whisk together with brown sugar then add spices and vanilla bean scrapings. Add plum halves and toss to coat well. Lightly butter 14 ramekins. Fill the bottom of each ramekin with plums (skin side down) and some of the sugar/butter/spice mixture.

To make cake batter: Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Combine milk and vanilla. Add dry and wet ingredients to butter/sugar mixture alternately mixing between additions, scraping the bottom of the bowl often. Divide evenly between the ramekins, filling only about 2/3 of the way.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert onto dessert plates and serve warm with Ginger Crema Sorbet.

Ginger Crema Sorbet

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups crema or crème fraiche
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons ginger juice (strained from grated ginger)

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

When syrup is cool, combine with the crema, lemon juice, and ginger juice. Adjust flavors as necessary. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacture’s instructions. Caution: This sorbet can become over mixed quite quickly.


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