Plum Brown Sugar Upside-Down Cake
Posted by: Mai Thu, 9 Sep 2004, at 1:13 p.m.
Source:: Food and Wine
ACTIVE TIME 35 MIN TOTAL TIME 1 HR 30 MIN
MAKES ONE 12-INCH CAKE
Fanny says she was a failure in the pastry kitchen at Chez Panisse and that this
simple cake is the one and only dessert she's good at baking. The recipe is from
Mary Jo Thoresen, Fanny's longtime baby-sitter and a former Chez Panisse pastry
chef; the two used to make it in heart-shaped baking pans.
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 pounds medium plums—halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, melt 4 tablespoons
of the butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in the skillet. Turn off the heat
and arrange the plum wedges in the skillet in 2 concentric circles.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl,
using a handheld mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the granulated
sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, until incorporated, then
beat in the vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating
with the milk.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. Using a
rubber spatula, stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it,
then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spread the batter over the plums and
bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes
out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate. Cut
the cake into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.