• 230g plain flour
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g castor sugar
  • 125g soft butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 850g plums
  • 100g cold butter

I am fed up of waiting for my friends. I’ve said it now. This isn’t a rant about lateness, oh no. This is a missive to my friends to hurry up and reach the same life stage as me. Because I miss them. Let me explain.

I was the first of my peer group (by peer, I mean people roughly the same age as me who I have had major life experiences with… uni, work etc) to have a baby. I wasn’t that young, 28 in fact. But no-one else was having them. Then a few did and I was mighty pleased. It made me feel normal. But there are a fair few who haven’t had children yet and I so want them to. I know this is controversial  I know it’s none of my business. I know that lots of people choose not to have kids and are very happy that way and… well, that’s fine, I know children aren’t a shortcut to happiness. However, if my friends could all just have a baby asap that would make me very happy. In the same way that at uni everyone HAD to drink too much, skip lectures and have an inappropriate boyfriend; ow in my 30s, I just want us all to be the same again. To all be perpetually tired and spend our days running up hills shouting ‘I’m the king of the castle!’

Not everyone wants the same things. Take this plum and almond crumble cake. My husband likes it a lot. My eldest son gave the verdict ‘you are a very good baker mummy’ and my visiting friends finished their slices and looked happy enough. Me? I can’t bear this kind of cake. Cold cooked fruit encased in cake and crumble? Sorry, not for me. Warm, yes, but cold, blergh. But so many of you have expressed an interest in it that I have faithfully copied the recipe down. Here it is. If I were you I’d reduce the fruit by at least a third.

Comments, as always, welcomed.

One year ago: Baileys chocolate fridge cake truffles  and Experimental banana loaf

Two years ago: Cherry, white choc and apricot biscuits and Reeses’ inspired chocolate and peanut tart and Sesame, quinoa and carrot salad

Plum and almond crumble cake

For the cake:

  • 110g plain flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 125g soft butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 850g plums (in their pure form, with stones)

For the crumble

  • 120g plain flour
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 100g cold butter

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease a line a cake tin with a loose bottom – mine was about 28cm across. Make the sponge by beating all the ingredients together until light and fluffy. This batter is a little thicker than a normal cake batter – needs to be to carry the moisture in the plums. Spread across the bottom of the cake tin evenly. There isn’t much of it. Worry not.

Slice the plums into 6 slices each, removing the stone as you go and lay in concentric circles over the cake batter. I had enough for almost 2 layers. Here is where I would reduce the fruit if I made it again and have one layer. So maybe 550g fruit. Then make the crumble topping by rubbing all the ingredients together until you have a rubble like consistency and then pop it on top of the plums. You will see some fruit through the rubble. Bake for 50 minutes and either serve warm with custard (yum) or cold (yuck.)

NB: This is best eaten on the day it is made. Gradually, just gradually, the moisture from the fruit seeps down into the cake. Soggy bottoms aplenty.

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