Mirabelle Plums

9 Jul

School is finally out for summer and we’re all so ready for some good lazy summer vacation days around here.  We’re extremely happy to to have a break from those painfully early morning wake ups, the long bus rides to and from school, the homework and the studying.  I’m looking forward to focusing on spoken English in our household and I have dreams of my kids finally grasping the difference between “much” and “many”.  Hopefully by the end of the summer my kids won’t ask me questions such as “Mama, how many flour does the recipe call for?” or “Mama, how much cars are there on the road?”.  Wish us all luck.

This past week-end the girls and I spent some time picking all the ripe Mirabelle plums from the tree in our garden.  The last few years we didn’t get any fruit on the tree but surprisingly enough this year we had a tree full of miniscule sweet yellow prugne.

After picking the plums we decided to make a plum raspberry crumb cake to take to a friend.  It turned out to be such a tasty cake and knowing that it was made with plums from our tree, raspberries that we had picked and eggs from our chickens made us all extremely proud.  It is a really rich cake made with a crumb top and bottom and with a fruit and custard filling.  It’s delicious served warm with a little bit of vanilla ice cream.  If there is one recipe that you must try it is definitely this one.  You can substitute lots of different kinds of fruit for the plum and raspberries in this cake.

Plum Raspberry Crumb Cake

3/4 cup chilled butter (cut into small pieces)
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 cups Mirabelle plums (halfed and pits removed)
1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
1 large egg (beaten)
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 (180) degrees. In mixer place ground almonds, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and small pinch of salt and mix until combined.  Add butter and mix until combined, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Press 3 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake until set, about 18- 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Scatter halved and pitted plums and raspberries on cooled crust.

4. In a medium bowl whisk together 1 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar.  Whisk in egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and small pinch of salt.

5.  Pour custard over fruit (on cake base) and then sprinkle remaining crumble mixture on top.  Bake until custard is set and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.  Let cool for at least 25 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Raspberry-Plum Crumb Tart recipe.

And because I have bowls and bowls full of these little plums I, of course, made a quick batch of jam.  I made some Plum Rhubarb Jam with Brown Sugar.  It’s got a dark caramel colour and a perfect balance between sweet and sour.  The rhubarb came from a plant in our garden that is growing completely out of control.  I’m in desperate need of new rhubarb recipes.  Please send them along.

So here’s how to make it.  In a large cast-iron pot put about 500 grams of pitted Mirabelle plums, 200 grams of chopped rhubarb, 75ml of water and the juice of half a lime (or lemon).  Let this simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Add 125 grams of brown sugar and 225 grams of white sugar and let simmer for a further 30 minutes ( or until preferred consistency).  Pour into sterilized jars (makes approx. 2 jars).  Enjoy!

So that’s it.  Now I’m all plummed out for another year.


12 Responses to “Mirabelle Plums”

  1. little pink cakes July 9, 2012 at 21:02 #

    Awww, yummy! I have to try this cake – it sounds and looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    • jc July 9, 2012 at 21:23 #

      It really is worth trying. And it’s actually quite quick to make which is always a good thing…

  2. Jeni Johnson July 9, 2012 at 21:21 #

    We picked up our 1st Mirabelle plums from the market yesterday and tonight I incorporated into our salad along with the tiny green pears I never saw in the States….
    Your plum raspberry crumb cake would of made a great desert for us… Wink. 😉

    • jc July 9, 2012 at 21:26 #

      That salad sounds great. Unfortunately I’m allergic to fresh plums and pears so I won’t be able to give it a try. How is the weather down in Sicily? It’s boiling hot here at the moment!

      • Jeni Johnson July 9, 2012 at 21:39 #

        Oh yes, I do recall your allergies post to fresh fruit, is that right? You’ll have to settle for artificial fruit favors? Like otter pops for the boiling weather we are having down here! I have the ac unit on all day!

  3. petra July 10, 2012 at 16:38 #

    hey Jill, our mirabelle tree only gives us fruit every second year too…and this is our year off 😦 – too bad ’cause your cake sounds deelish. It seems that almost all our trees only bear fruit every second year, which is kind of really annoying since it is always the same year. ONe year we starve, the next i am BEGGING people to come and pick. I did harvest about 4,5 kg of cassis (ever pick and sort those? talk about a bitch) and we got some great jam with that. Love P

    • Jillian in Italy July 12, 2012 at 14:47 #

      Yum….cassis. You should make your own syrup. And send me a bottle. That way I could use my sweet little coasters you made me and have sparkling water with cassis syprup (that you made me). While sitting on some of your Fermob chairs (that you’ll give to me). Sound like a plan.

    • Janet July 1, 2014 at 22:09 #

      Many fruit trees only produce every other year unless you prune them and thin the larger crops.

  4. GrammaO July 12, 2012 at 11:49 #

    Try out the Rhubarb Connection – lots of recipes for rhubarb

  5. Elena July 12, 2012 at 16:22 #

    Looks lovely, Jillian. An I’m sure it was absolutely delicious, I love plums, but especially in cakes 😉

    • Jillian in Italy July 12, 2012 at 17:26 #

      And I’m 100% certain that you’ve made some delicious plum cakes! By the way, I’ve made that potato feta pie of yours about 5 times in the last month. It’s really my all time favorite recipe!

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