Plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and berries. With frequent visitor both planned and spontaneous, plus picnics and BBQs with friends, seasonal desserts featuring fresh local fruit are a great treat – just add ice cream. And as evenings are getting cooler we crave a little warm dessert around 9 pm. This one is a buttery, dense almond cake with meltingly, sweet-tart nectarines to satisfy our sweet tooth. And these very cool mornings, we smile again, digging into a slice of cake with a cup of coffee to start the day.
The basic dough with almond flour is perfect for a dessert made with most stone fruit – black plums, peaches, nectarines work well, as do sour cherries. I reduce the sugar by 2 T when making this cake with peaches or nectarines. Cherries and berries will work but of course, without the sunburst effect on top.
The recipe translates well to a gluten free flour blend, but when using non-gluten flours it is best eaten the day its made.
- 1 cups all purpose flour or gluten free blend (if using gluten free also blend add 1t xanthan gum)
- ¼ c finely ground almonds or commercial almond flour (if not available use an additional ¼ c flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice*
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- About 5 large plums (1 1/4 pounds), pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges or 3 large nectarines.
- Optional: 1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9-inch-diameter spring form pan. (If you don’t have a spring form pan a 9” cake pan can be used. Butter the pan, line with a parchment circle, butter and flour. When unmolding the cake, place a dinner plate over the top in order to flip the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment liner and flip back onto your serving plate.)
Whisk flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. In a separate bowl beat butter until fluffy. Add 2/3-cup sugar and beat again until light. Add eggs one at a time, and then add lemon juice and lemon zest (or vanilla or other flavoring), beating after each addition until blended. If you skip the lemon juice for another flavor, make sure you have enough moisture added. You may need to add 1T of room temperature water. Beat in the flour mixture, just until smooth. The batter will be dense. Spread into prepared pan.
Press wedges of fruit, skin up, halfway into the batter in a concentric circle (see the photo), starting from outside, spacing the fruit slightly apart so that there is dough between. Place one to three slices in the middle, depending on how much room you have. Optional: sprinkle 1T of sugar over the top.
Bake in the center of the oven at 350 for about 50 minutes, until cake is golden brown and tester comes out clean. Slide a knife around the outer edge of the cake to release pan sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
Doubles well for a sheet pan. Perfect on its own – warm or room temperature, with sweetened whipped heavy cream or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.