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Plum tray bake with cardamom-clove crumble

Makes 12 pieces

A delectably moist tray bake that showcases plum’s affinity with cardamom. There is a generous quantity of crumble in the recipe below because, frankly, who doesn’t love crumble? This is a useful recipe to have on hand to make fruit crumble puddings; either freeze it in its raw state and use from frozen as a topping for par-cooked fruit, or bake it for 15 minutes or so and store the crunchy crumbs in an airtight container to use as a handy garnish for all sorts of stewed fruits, ice creams or creamy desserts.

180 g (6½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

(baking soda)

¼ teaspoon salt

240 g (8½ oz) sour cream or Greekstyle

yoghurt

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

140 g (5 oz) unsalted butter, softened,

plus extra for greasing

200 g (7 oz) golden caster

(superfine) sugar

2 large eggs

8 plums, quartered and pitted

Cardamom-clove crumble

80 g (2¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

80 g (2¾ oz) ground almonds

80 g (2¾ oz) soft brown sugar

16 cloves, ground to a powder

(or ½ teaspoon ground cloves)

seeds from 20 cardamom pods, ground

(or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom)

¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes

80 g (2¾ oz) chilled unsalted butter,

diced small

To make the cardamom-clove crumble, combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the

butter and pulse until it forms clumpy crumbs. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (or seal in a zip-lock bag for future use).

Preheat the oven to 170ºC (340ºF) fan-forced/190ºC (375ºF) and lightly grease a 20 x 30 cm baking tin.

 

For the cake, first sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a mixing bowl.

 

Whisk the sour cream and vanilla together in a small bowl.

 

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 4–5 minutes, or until very pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, little by little, ensuring that each amount is incorporated thoroughly before you add more.

 

Lower the speed and add the flour in three batches, alternating with the sour cream. When the batter is very smooth, tip it into the prepared baking tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the plum pieces on top and bake for 25 minutes.

 

Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the cake’s surface and return to the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Set the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

 

Cut into squares and serve from the tin with tea or coffee, or as dessert with whipped cream.