The end of summer is sort of bittersweet, don’t ya think? Warm summer nights, weekend barbeques, trips to the ice cream stand, and evening walks with my family will quickly be coming to an end. Yet at the same time, I get excited for things like end of summer harvests, the changing leaves, and the crisp, fall days ahead. It hardly seems possible that it’s the end of August. I think I finally realized it the other day, when our local produce shop had a sign out for fresh, organic pears, plums, and butternut squash. I’ve been in denial about the week ahead for some time now (only because I will be trading days spent with my little cupcake for school). But it’s coming whether we’re ready or not, the end of summer.
Rather than sulking in the sadness of summer ending, I decided I’d take advantage of the cooler days and fresh end of summer produce by whipping up a most fantabulous cake.
This cake has an unbelievable texture. Flecks of almond meal, pockets of sweet fruit, and a crisp, buttery almond topping-serious perfection. It comes together quickly, too! A layer of cake, halved plums, a toss of a few blueberries, and a sprinkling of topping. It’s rustic, yet classy. Can a cake be shabby chic? Because this definitely fits that category in my book. A little confession…I broke my rule of one (slice) and done. I’m telling you, it’s good stuff.
Here’s a little before-the-baking photo so you can see all of the insanely delicious layers.
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup flour, plus more for dusting pan
- 1/2 cup almond meal (see note)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 7-10 plums, halved and pitted (skins on)
- handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 inch springform pan and dust with flour.
- In a bowl, combine oil, egg, half-and-half, lemon zest/juice, sugar, and extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until everything just comes together. Pour batter into greased pan. Top with halved plums and sprinkle with blueberries.
- In a small dish, combine almond slivers, sugar, and butter for topping. Crumble with fingers and distribute over cake.
- Bake cake 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The top should be golden brown. If too much browning is occurring around edges, cover edges with a layer of foil. Transfer cake to a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing the ring from the pan. Sprinkle with confectionery sugar just before serving.
- If you do not have almond meal (or almond flour), place whole or slivered almonds into a food processor or blender and blend until almonds reach a fine, cornmeal-like consistency.