My parents were recently gifted a bounty of plums. Pondering what to do with an abundance of seasonal produce is a lovely thing to think on. Mum and I enjoy our recipe-talk emails, “How about this?”…”I like the ingredients here”…”check out her method”. But these plums, so rich and ripe and romantically toned, how were we to proceed? Mum suggested a cake by Nigel Slater for us to have after brunch one weekend, and after a brief glance at the ingredients list (and the recipe developer), I replied, “Definitely.” Eggs and bacon followed by cake… Yes, definitely.
And when does Nigel Slater ever lead us astray?
When does my mother ever lead us astray?
I’ve spoken about my mum’s kitchen abilities before, but she’s the reason I have kitchen confidence. Because of my mum I know to read a recipe well before cooking (maybe a few similar ones, to gain a deeper understanding of what you’re doing), and then follow my instincts. Mum’s tastes and talent are influenced by her visit to Howqua Dale’s cooking retreat one weekend in the 90’s. This fostered her kitchen confidence and encouraged a love for French provincial-style cooking, which is something we in the family are always grateful for, as mum makes the most divine coq au vin and similar preparations. Mum also knows a good cake recipe when she sees one.
Hence, this beauty.
This season, while we’re swimming in stone fruit, do try this recipe. The crumb is divine, even more tender and pert from the use of spelt flour, as Nigel encouraged. Nigel knows best. As does my mum. I like to serve this quite sweet cake with a dollop of creme fraiche. Others might prefer it plain, like Ben. “It’s perfect”, he said, before requesting the cake for his birthday…in December.
Plum Spelt Cake (recipe link).