A traditional plum kuchen is normally made with yeast. This coffee cake-style recipe was made by my late mother and is far quicker and easier to make. If you do not have a packet of vanilla sugar you can use 11g of caster sugar and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. It is best enjoyed warm, freezes perfectly and is even more glorious with custard or fromage frais.
● 280g plain flour
● 1 tsp baking powder
● 75g caster sugar
● 1 packet vanilla sugar
● Pinch of salt
● 165g butter or margarine
● 1 free-range organic egg
● Juice and zest of 1 lemon
● Zest of 1 orange
● 2 tbsp milk
For the filling
● 3-4 tbsp jam
● 1 kg dark plums stoned and halved
● 126g soft brown sugar
● 1 tsp ground cinnamon
● 100g ground almonds
● Grease and line the base of a 20cm/8 inch tin. Heat your oven to 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6.
● Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, vanilla sugar, zest and butter or margarine into a food processor and mix briefly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
● Pour into a bowl and mix with the egg, lemon juice and milk. Do not overwork.
● Smooth the stiff batter into a cake tin and smear with the jam. Lay the plums on top in a decorative pattern.
● Combine the brown sugar with the cinnamon and ground almonds and sprinkle over the plums.
● Bake for approx 35-40minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden, with juicy syrup oozing from the plums.