In our French garden we have four plum trees. One produces a few small, purple plums every year. The other three were said to be Mirabelle trees but they're not. Mirabelles are smaller and more round than these decidedly plum shaped plums.
Our trees produce a smallish oval yellow plum which is absolutely delicious and not unlike a Victoria plum.
I haven't had Victoria plums for a while now. We are usually in France when they are in season in the UK and I do miss them. So in stating that these plums are very like a Victoria plum I'm relying very much on my memory of how wonderful they taste.
This year the three trees have done incredibly well, which is amazing considering the drought that we have had here in France for three months. For all that time we have been unable to water freely and have saved our precious rainwater in the water cube for our tomatoes and the plants we really didn't want to lose. We have lost a rowan tree, an apple tree, several roses and numerous other plants. It was impossible to keep up with the watering and in the area where the plum trees are everything else is brown and dead.
And yet we have had loads and loads of plums and they just kept on coming. I have used them for several cakes, bakes and crumbles, given bagfuls away and put more bagfuls in the freezer. They have been an absolute joy.
For this cake I adapted a favourite recipe, called "fantasy cake" by Lisa Faulkner. She was a Celebrity Master Chef winner some years ago and since then has written several cook books. This recipe comes from the one called "recipes from my mother to my daughter" and I have used and adapted it successfully several times. She makes the cake with strawberries but it works with any soft fruit or chopped stone fruit. This time I made it in my lovely new "blossom" Bundt tin and it worked really well.
The cake was moist and fruity and the combination of plums and almond was lovely. It was delicious with a cup of tea and also lovely served as a dessert with ice cream.
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond essence
Approx 400g plums, washed, stoned and roughly chopped
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer (or wooden spoon) until light and fluffy. Add the flour, eggs, milk, ground almonds and almond essence and mix well. Fold in the fruit.
Bake for about ¾-1¼ hours. Check after 45 minutes – mine was done in 50 minutes.
Cool in the tin for about ten minutes then carefully turn the cake out of the tin onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with icing sugar before serving if you like.
Cuts into 8-10 good slices.