Plum Strusel Cake
This recipe is a late-summer favourite of our family. You can use any plums, I used Victorias here (we have a very unattractive tree which brings nothing to the party in terms of garden aesthetics but every year it's branches are groaning under the weight of fruit so we feel obliged to repay it's generosity by keeping it).
This very quick & easy recipe works equally well with rhubarb, apricots, cherries, blackberries, apples - whatever you have available. It freezes well so double the quantity and bake two. It's not really a cake but two layers of crumble with a layer of fruit in the centre - a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
400g self-raising flour
200 g golden caster or soft, light brown sugar (use vanilla sugar if you have it)
a pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, cold
1 kg plums, quartered (stoned weight)
1 1/2 tbsp golden castor sugar (for sprinkling over raw plums)
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Double cream, Greek yogurt or Creme Fraiche to serve
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease a 30 cm, loose bottom, flan tin.
Mix all of the ingredients except the plums & sprinkling sugar in a bowl & 'crumble' with your fingers until the mixture takes on a crumb-like texture (you can do this in a food processor but I prefer the rubble like texture you achieve when making by hand). Place 2/3 of the crumble mixture into the tin & press gently together with your fingers to form a firm base. Tip the quartered plums onto the base, spread evenly & sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Top with the remaining crumble mixture. It doesn't matter if pieces of plum poke through the top or at the edges, this adds to the prettiness of the cake. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the crumble is golden brown & the pink juices of the plums are bubbling at the edges.
Serve warm with cream, yogurt or ice cream (it's also delicious served with custard as a pudding with Sunday lunch!). It's equally good served cold with a cup of tea during an afternoon of gardening or raking leaves when Autumn arrives in a few weeks time.