Week 4: Martha Stewart (Plum Kuchen)

Every Friday, a group of women writers is blogging their way through 50 Women Game-Changers of Food – find more information here. Here’s the roundup from last week. 

Week 3 – Fannie Farmer
Boston Brown Bread from the kitchen of The Spice Garden
English Muffins from the kitchen of girlichef 

My father is an MBA. My mother is an MBA. My brother is a wannabe film editor. My sister is a wannabe lawyer. My other brother is a wannabe boat driver. I am a wannabe doctor. Which of these does not belong?

My family will not allow me to talk at the dinner table. They tell me my conversation is “medical potty talk.” I’m not allowed to mention what I’m learning in class, what I practiced in clinic, what I saw in the OR or what I did in the ED. I’m definitely not allowed to give the specifics of diseases or even hint at the word blood. However, my mother asked me to make plum cake today, and, boy oh boy, did I have fun with the medical potty talk then. “DAD! These plums are bleeding! I am stabbing them to death! Ahahahaha!”

Half of my family is still in Germany, and when we went to visit last summer, we were fed plenty of pflaumenkuchen. It can be made many ways – whether yeasted or quick raised, heavily spiced or completely plain. Martha Stewart’s version is a simple, quick raised type which makes it perfect for a quick dessert or easy breakfast. 

Plum Kuchen

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Makes one 9″ round cake. Allow 45 minutes. 

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cream*
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
4 plums

1) Preheat oven to 400. While the oven is preheating, put the butter in your cake pan and melt it. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the melted butter.
2) Stir together your dry ingredients, then mix in your wet ones. The dough will be quite stiff.
3) Slice the plums in half, then into 6-8 slices per half. Arrange them over the butter and sugar in the bottom of your pan.
4) Drop the cake batter onto the plums by spoonfuls, then smooth it out.**
5) Bake for thirty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the batter comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
6) Cool on a rack for ten minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

*You can also use milk, but cream gives the cake a more delicate crumb.
**You can also scrape this out and smooth pieces of dough with your fingers. If you wet your fingers, you’ll be able to smooth the dough out easily without it sticking.

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6 Responses to Week 4: Martha Stewart (Plum Kuchen)

  1. bellini says:

    Love the photo with the steam rising. Even if your family will not listen you have Joanne to talk medical potty talk with and talk about food too I would imagine. Great choice for Martha who has European roots!!

  2. girlichef says:

    ha! That looks amazing…and I love that photo with the steam just wafting up invitingly, too. Want it. Yum!

  3. Mary says:

    This is a gorgeous cake and the photo with the steam rising is exceptional. You can cut my plums anytime you want. I keep a sterile kitchen :-). This was a great choice for today's most influential. Have a great holiday weekend. Blessings…Mary

  4. You are TOO funny! as I was reading your post … I was flashing back to the SNL sketch when Julia stabs herself while workig with the chicken … kitchen humor/medical humor/whatever … it all gets back to slapstick! This pflaumenkuchen looks wonderful … definitely up to snuff for a German kaffeetrinken session!

  5. Jeanette says:

    Love this beautiful cake you chose to make from Martha – gorgeous deep plum colors. Fun family story too!

  6. Beautiful cake, and what an entertaining post! 🙂

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