This for me really is the best time of year for fresh and seasonal produce, the end of summer before the first frost.
To celebrate this i’d like to showcase some of my favourite recipes to make and bake in the Autumn. Whether you grow your own, pick your own or buy your own its worth keeping your eye out for the more unusual fruits and vegetables available.
Like Greengages for instance
The Greengage is a type of plum, slightly smaller than a victoria plum they are the palest green, almost yellow in colour and quintessentially british. Greengages are sweet and delicious, their skins don’t have the tartness of the darker plum varieties so they are beautiful to eat raw on their own
And of course they are perfect for baking….
To make my upside down almond and plum cake you will need:
- A 23cm/9″ cake tin- buttered and lined with baking parchment
- 150g butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 100g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 40g ground almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- the zest of 1 lemon
- 7 greengages or plums
- To pre-heat your oven to 160C
Cut the greengages in half following their natural line. Twist them to separate the two halves and cut out the stone of the fruit, then arrange the prepared halves face down onto the base of your lined cake tin. Set this aside whilst preparing the batter.
Using a handheld mixer cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract until soft, fluffy and well blended. Into a separate bowl sift together the self raising flour and baking powder, fold in the ground almonds and set aside. Next crack the eggs into a jug and add them to your butter and sugar mix very slowly, beating well after each addition. If the mixture begins to split add a tablespoon of the flour mix to stabilise. Once all the egg is added and well combined with sugar and flour gently stir in the flour and almond mix.
Spoon the batter mixture over the greengages in the prepared tin. No need to be too accurate, this mixture will find it’s own level once it is placed in the oven. Smooth down the batter with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
To test the cake is ready make sure it is an even golden colour then press the surface of the cake, if it springs back to the touch it is baked but if your finger leaves an impression in the surface of the cake it will need a few more minutes in the oven. Another way to test your cake is to inset a skewer into the centre of your cake, if this is clean when removed your cake is ready.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10-15 minutes then invert onto a plate/cake stand. Serve the cake upside down, it’s best eaten warm with a cup of tea and a spoonful of creme fraiche