I feel sorry for these plums, because they most definitely do not deserve the name "ugly green plums." First of all, I don't find them ugly at all! And second, whatever they supposedly lack in appearance as compared to, well, more physically attractive plums, they make up for in flavor, for they are sweet and juicy all the way through, with none of that characteristic tartness that most oftentimes plagues plums. And, just because they're pointy and green doesn't mean you should call them ugly. I mean, have you not seen Wicked?
And yet, I have no idea what the official variety of these plums are, since the woman who sells them at the farmers' market just labels them (and I'm not exaggerating here) with a large sign that reads "UGLY GREEN PLUMS." Granted, she does insist that these are her favorite fruit to bring to market, so at least that's something.... Anyways, in an effort to give these plums a better name (PR is everything these days, people), I sliced them up and baked them into a wonderfully moist and yet a tad bit crunchy cornmeal and olive oil cake. And they were delicious.
I vote it's time to rebrand these beauties with a new name: suggestions, anyone?
In other news, I'm back from Hawai'i and attempting to resist settling back in to a normal routine--of course. :-) Lots of photos to come, though this might take a little bit....
Read on for recipe....
Ugly Green Plums, Olive Oil, and Cornmeal Cake
cake recipe inspired by David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert
makes one 9 x 13" cake
2 Tbspn (20 gr) + 3/4 cup (130 gr) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup (140 gr) AP flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
1/2 cup olive oil
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup (132 gr) sugar
2/3 cup (~120 gr) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3-4 small green plums
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13" baking pan, and dust the insides with 2 Tbspn (20 gr) of cornmeal. If desired, wrap with bake-even strips. Set aside.
2. Whisk to combine the flour, remaining 3/4 cup (130 gr) cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
4. In a mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Slowly add the egg mixture, a little at a time while still beating. Stir in the flour mixture in two additions, but do not overmix.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Slice the plums and arrange the slices on top of the batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out cleanly. Let cool for 30 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool. Top with powdered sugar, if desired.