The markets are full of summer fruits and when I buy plums this cake is usually the first thing I'll make. Before I left on my trip, we had an extremely cool spring that just wouldn't end. When I was in the south of France I bought myself a wool scarf at the enormous Friday market in Carpentras, and I actually wore it! I never imagined experiencing chilly temperatures along the Mediterranean this time of year. But now that I'm back summer has finally arrived in Minnesota, and I if I do any baking, it is first thing in the morning before my kitchen becomes unbearable. This plum upside-down cake was done just in time for breakfast!
PLUM UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
3-4 plum, pitted and thinly sliced
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup milk
1. Using a round, 9-inch non-stick baking pan ( I use my well-seasoned cast iron skillet), melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1/3 cup of the sugar on top of the stove. Remove from heat and arrange the plums in an attractive pattern on the bottom. Return to the heat and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Make the batter: Cream the remaining butter with the remaining sugar. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the vanilla, brandy and milk and beat just until smooth.
4. Pour the batter onto the plums and distribute evenly over the fruit. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack and invert onto a serving plate.