Cooking with Suzy on Tuesdays is always so much more than just the food. It’s the experiences, often funny, sometimes more serious, that we share as a result of our time cooking together. The regularity of our time is like an old pair of boots: a dependable favorite.
It’s funny how many people know about my regular 12-2 Tuesday cooking dates with Suzy. My kitchen is a promised place she can make dinner at least one night a week, set in stone. It seems my local friends are loyal readers of my blog (thanks guys!) since they’ll often drop hints, inquiring what the dish du jour might be that day — Suzy’s quick heated dinner for the night. It’s very endearing that my friends care about me, Suzy and her lack of a kitchen other than mine.
So for those curious friends and readers eager for a simple delicious cake, this past week, Suzy and I baked a few plum cakes for our respective Rosh Hashanah dinners. Yes, even without a kitchen Suzy was thoughtful enough to bring a cake to her mother-in-law’s. Suzy swore by this simple cake, the recipe hand scrawled on an index card. It’s a no-fail cake at this time of year that uses the oval shaped Italian (or prune) plums only available for a short time. (No fail unless you deviate from the instructions, which I did with my second cake which I baked in a shallow pie dish. The batter rose and then dripped around the outside of the pan, leaving batter to burn on the bottom of the oven.) Oh well, I guess that spring form pan was an important vessel for the batter.
Good thing I made two.
In addition to a plum cake, Suzy made the apple torte featured in the Wall Street Journal last week. We were skeptical since the dough didn’t have any butter in it at all. Although it was absolutely gorgeous, Suzy reported in later that she knows now why a cake needs butter. So don’t try it! Suzy also managed to make skillet Asian Chicken for dinner. She was a busy little beaver and left with quite a stash.
Suzy’s Plum Cake
Makes 1 cake
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
8-10 Italian plums cut lengthwise and pits removed
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar for the top
Lemon juice for the top
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a spring form pan with baking spray. Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Transfer to pan and spread batter evenly. Place plums flesh side down into a pattern. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on the top. Bake for 50 minutes until center is firm to the touch. Cool cake for a few minutes, remove from spring form pan and place on a cake plate. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.