If you have a preference for super-sweet cakes, skip this. It’s a subtly sweet stunner that you can make with just about whatever
fruit is in season. If you can find it, use wholemeal pastry flour, which delivers a pretty cake with a delicate crumb, and the buttermilk lends plenty of richness and flavour, allowing for a satisfying treat with a fraction of the butter and sugar you’ll find in many cakes. Remember, cakes keep baking even after they come out of the oven; you don’t want to over bake this cake in particular. It will end up on the dry side, more like a scone if you’re not careful. Serve with a floppy dollop of maple-sweetened whipped cream. Some plums can be difficult to cut. With a sharp knife, slice off two lobes as close to the stone as you can get. Cut each lobe into
four pieces, eight total. Now slice off the two lobes remaining on the pit.
310 g wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
70 g golden caster sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
355 ml buttermilk
60 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
Grated zest of 3 lemons
8 to 10 plums (ripe, but not overly ripe), thinly sliced
55 g raw sugar or demerara sugar.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6) with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter and flour a 28 cm-round tart tin, or line the base of the pan with baking paper. Alternatively, you can make this cake in a 9 cm x 33 cm baking dish; just keep a close eye on it near the end of the baking time. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in the melted (but not hot) butter and the lemon zest. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir briefly, until just combined. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges a bit. Scatter the plums across the top, then sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the cake has set. A toothpick to the centre should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.