One of the best parts of cooking is the memories that certain dishes bring back. My dad gave me a 5 pound box of Italian Plums from Costco and asked me to make some Plum Cake. His sister, my aunt Novella, used to make this plum cake and my dad had a craving for it. However, the particular recipe he was craving calls for 5lbs 8 oz of plums and he had already eaten roughly one of the five pounds of plums given to me. I figured, oh well, it’s a ton of plums anyway and so it’ll be fine. Sometimes, you have to just give in to your cravings of exactly what you want and NOT modify the recipe. Do you know how hard this is for me to do? To do my best to not modify this? I figured his craving should be fed properly. Now, here is the link to the recipe. If you check out this recipe, you’ll notice it almost seems more like a sweet bread recipe, rather than cake. Okay, okay, I did modify it a little. It only called for 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 2/3 cup flour. I added another 1/2 cup of flour and extra sugar to taste. Even with these modifications, the dough was still not sticky enough to knead into a ball and roll out. Instead of adding sugar and flour all day long, I figured I’d just spread the dough onto the pan and add the plums.
Honestly, I am disappointed in the cake and wishing I’d have made up my own recipe or made one of these: Erna Welp’s Pflaumekuchen or this Italian version. The Italian version is what I really wanted to make because it has almond flour – which gets me excited and makes me think of all kinds of new ways to make it my own. Dr. Oetker’s version has an optional crumble topping that my aunt used to add most of the time – but my Dad decided not to have that due to the added bad-for-you stuff. I have a feeling his craving included crumbles!!! I have a modified healthy crisp topping from my Apple Currant Crisp that maybe would have actually brought some flavor to this cake! Having said that…I wouldn’t make this again – even without the added agave nectar – I’d rather have an actual cake bottom rather than a slightly sweet bread “cake.” Next time my dad finds himself with too many Italian plums, I’m excited to get cooking my own version and I hope it’s as good as I imagine it will be!
So, what did my dad think? He said the plums on top were delicious, just how he remembered them (baked plums with a little sugar drizzled on top at the end, not too hard) – but the cake he remembers is not this bready cake but actual yellow cake and fluffy as well. I’m pretty sure my aunt figured out the same thing I did- this particular cake dough recipe isn’t all that great – use actual cake! And, she must’ve made it extra special sometimes with the addition of crumble topping. Sigh- in my attempt to make something nostalgic going against what I wanted to do – I learn I should’ve just done what I wanted to do in the first place. Oh well- I’m pretty sure those plums will be gobbled up in no time with half of the “cake” leftover.