As prune plums and figs make their appearance at local farmers’ markets and produce stands, I know that summer is coming to an end and autumn is around the corner. It was my intention to use plums and figs with the summer fruit torte recipe, but I found this wonderful kuchen recipe from local baking expert Flo Braker in the SF Chronicle. Kuchen, the German word for cake, usually refers to different pastries and cakes. Some yeasted and some with fruit and nuts. This kuchen is not yeasted, but it is bursting with sweet, juicy fruit and crunchy walnuts.
I made a couple of very minor changes to the original recipe. I halved my plums instead of cutting them into quarters (although quarters would definitely work better) and I omitted the ground cloves from the topping.
Plum, Fig & Walnut Kuchen
(from SF Chronicle Food Section)
makes one 9-inch cake
7 small prune plums, halved and pitted
5 small Black Mission figs, stems snipped and quartered
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz (approximately 2/3 cup) walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 2-inch round baking pan and insert a round of parchment paper in the bottom and butter the parchment. The parchment will help you get the kuchen out of the pan. Set prepared pan aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until flour is incorporated. Spread batter in pan, and sprinkle chopped walnuts over the batter.
Arrange the plum halves, flesh side up, in a circle around the perimeter. Arrange the fig quarters, flesh side up, in a circle in the center of the kuchen. If you have any fruit left, fit them in where you can.
To top the kuchen, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the fruit.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the edges are slightly puffy and golden brown and the center is set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour before removing from pan.
autumn is coming!
Prune plums are high in anti-oxidants. Remember, the brighter the ARF food, the better it is for you! Go visit Cate at Sweetnicks and see this week's ARF roundup.