This simple Almond Plum Cake tastes like a cross between cake and fruit cobbler. It is supremely moist and almost custard-like, thanks to the soft roasted sweet plums and a generous amount of Amaretto liquor.
For the cake:
- 16 small plums (about 16 oz/ 1 lb)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 3 tbsp for sprinkling
- 8 oz almond paste
- 12 tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp + 1/4 cup Amaretto liquor, divided
For the whipped mascarpone:
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 2 tbsp honey
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with vegetable shortening. Cut out a piece of parchment paper so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Grease the top of the parchment paper. Shake about 1/2 cup of flour around inside the pan so that it’s coated with flour. Shake out the excess.
- Cut the plums in half and remove their seeds. If using larger plums, cut them in half, remove the seed, and then cut each half into quarters. (If the plums are really juicy, place the cut up pieces in a colander set in the sink and let them sit for about 30 minutes to allow the excess juice to drip out.)
- In a medium size bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the lemon zest and sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the almond paste to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the butter and beat for 1 minute to combine with the almond paste.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition and beating for 20 seconds. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup Amaretto and beat just long enough to combine.
- Gently stir the flour mixture into the batter, mixing just long enough to incorporate. Scoop the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
- If using halved small plums, place them cut side down in one layer on the surface of the batter. If using larger plums that have been cut into chunks, scatter the pieces over the batter in one even layer. Sprinkle the plums with 3 tbsp granulated sugar.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any liquid batter clinging to it. Remove the cake to a wire rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Run the blunt edge of a knife or flat metal spatula along the sides of the cake and then release and remove the side of the pan. Brush the top of the cake with 3 tbsp Amaretto. Let cool completely before serving.
Make the whipped mascarpone:
- Add the mascarpone and honey to a small bowl and whip vigorously with a wire whisk or hand held electric mixer until fully combined and smooth. Serve drizzled over slices of almond plum cake.