As the weather has begun to cool a bit, our Stanley plum tree is getting downright prolific. Every day, the children run out with their basket and collect all the “seconds” that have fallen to the ground. Amazingly, the skins are firm enough that most of these fallen plums survive in tact and can be eaten out of hand. But that’s no reason not to bake a few!
I found this Plum Kuchen recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Apparently, she had adapted it from a Gourmet recipe. Here is my own version, tweaked yet again. However you make it, enjoy!
adapted from Gourmet
2 ¼ t. active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water (105–110°F)
2 c. plus 2 T flour, divided
1 c. sugar, divided
½ t. salt
½ c. plain whole-milk yogurt
1 large egg
¾ t. pure vanilla extract
¼ t. almond extract
¼ t. cinnamon
1 ¼ sticks butter, softened, divided
8 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
In bowl of standing mixer, dissolve yeast in water. Add 2 c. flour, 2/3 c. sugar, salt, yogurt, egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and cinnamon, and mix on low speed 1 minute. Add 1 stick of butter (1/2 c.) and mix on medium speed 5 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 T flour over top of dough and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise 1 ½ to 2 hours, until nearly doubled.
Meanwhile, spread remaining 2 T butter in bottom of 8’’ square baking pan (glass is fine). Sprinkle butter evenly with remaining 1/3 c. sugar. Place plum halves, flesh side down, over sugar in baking pan.
When dough has risen, spread over plums. Cover dish with plastic wrap. At this point, you may refrigerate it overnight or, alternately, allow to rise for another 1 ½ hours, until almost doubled again.
Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes (40-45 minutes if kuchen has been refrigerated), until golden brown on top and plums are bubbling underneath.
Let cool on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack positioned over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (to catch any dripping juices). Serve warm or cool, with or without unsweetened whipped cream or crème fraiche.