December 21, 2014

Almond Plum Cake

What says “Fall” to you? Trees turning color, a nip in the air, putting in wood for the winter…

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… humming birds gone from the feeders, the landscape taking on warm tones…

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… the beginning of school…  of course Autumn is all of these things and many more.

But on THIS day my friend Kim Moss (see previous post A Very Mini Artist’s Colony in New Mexico) is busy baking an almond plum cake in the kitchen…

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… and in preparation for switching over to my winter bed, I’ve hung new LL Bean flannel sheets out on the line to dry…

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… so today these two things express the season most for me: Almond Plum Cake and thick flannel sheets.

Of course you can count on us to give you the recipe for this sumptuous cake (a Jacques Pepin creation) right here:

Jacques Pepin’s Almond Plum Cake (Kim Moss Variation)

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You’ll need:

9” spring form pan
Food processor

Butter and flour the pan and place oven rack in the middle. Preheat oven to 350.

Dry ingredients:

1    cup All Purpose flour
1    cup unbleached raw almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1    tsp baking powder
Pinch salt (approx. 1/4 tsp)

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Wet ingredients:

1   tsp vanilla
2   T canola oil
2   large eggs
1/3 cup milk
4   T softened butter


6   ripe plums
3   T sugar

1/2 cup plum jam
1   T Calvados or brandy

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First pit plums with a sharp pointed knife, making a small circular incision where the stem was attached without damaging the plum too much, and put aside. Kim used small, needle nosed pliers to extract the pit, or use a small spoon.

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Put almonds in processor and process until finely ground…

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… then add the rest of dry ingredients and process to mix…

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Add the butter, oil, vanilla, eggs and milk…

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… and process until well mixed…

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Pour into the floured pan…

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… and tilt until bottom is evenly coated…


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Roll each of the plums in water, then in the sugar, and press hole side down in the batter, evenly and slightly in from the edge of pan, in a circle…

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Place on a sheet pan in a 350 oven for about 55 to 60 minutes until nicely brown and a toothpick comes out clean from center…

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Remove and cool for about 5 minutes on a wire rack…

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Mix the jam and Calvados thoroughly in a small bowl…

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Release the outer sides of pan and remove. Using a pastry brush, brush the sides and top of the cake with the jam mix…

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(Variation: Kim used an extra plum to garnish the top of the cake. First he sliced it and brazed it in Calvados until just tender).

Let cool for about an hour (Kim took this break time to go out and feed some apples to the neighbor’s horses that were grazing on my road)…

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If desired sprinkle a light drift of powdered sugar over top for effect, using a fine sieve…

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… and enjoy!

Love to you all,


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