I associate certain foods with specific times of year and prune kuchen means Fall is here . Italian prune plums usually show up in the farmer’s market in mid-September and I always buy a big bag of them for several of my favorite recipes. For years I made the same recipe, Prune Kuchen with Cream and Streusel topping, not exactly my grandmother’s recipe but close enough, and this year I tried something a little different…a recipe that includes almond flour in the cake and topping. The nuts give a delicious flavor to the kuchen and produce a little denser cake, more like a biscuit.
We had a prune tree in our yard when I was growing up and my family loved them. One of my mom’s favorite dishes from her childhood was stewed prunes served over homemade noodles and topped with buttered, toasted breadcrumbs. It may sound odd to you, but it was delicious. Italian prune plums are small, egg-shaped fruit with a deep purple blueberry colored smooth thin skin and an amber lime green firm flesh. They have a dense sweet flavor that deepen as the fruit ripens. The fruit bears a large central inedible pit that is easily removed from the flesh. Here is a little prune trivia if you are interested. All prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. Prune plum varieties have a very high sugar content that enables them to be dried without fermenting. When cooked, the fruit’s flesh turns fuchsia pink in color and is syrupy sweet.
If you line the springform pan with parchment paper there is no worry about getting the cake to release from the sides of the pan. It creates a nice finish that looks like it’s bakery made. Lightly grease the pan and the parchment will stick to it. The original recipe for this kuchen says to bake it for 35-40 minutes but mine was nowhere near done at that point. It took over an hour to cook in the middle so be sure to test for doneness and not take it out of the oven early. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the batter and how many prunes are on the top. I used an 8″ springform pan, a larger one would require a shorter cooking time.
I enjoyed a great vacation last week at Eagle Crest Resort in Central Oregon. The weather was perfect. My daughter and grandkids joined me for a long weekend of biking, swimming, hiking and deer watching. It doesn’t get much better than that.
This recipe is an adaptation of one I found at Joy of Baking.
- 1-1/4 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (30 grams) almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) flavorless vegetable oil
- ½ cup (120 grams) sour cream
- ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice
- 1 tablespoon zested orange riind
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 7-8 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
- ½ cup (75 grams) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (30 grams) almond flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup (90 grams) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (60 grams) cold butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place rack in the center of oven.
- Butter and flour 8" springform pan. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, almond flour, bakingi powder and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together the oil, sour cream, orange juice and zest, egg, and vanilla. Mix in the sugar. Add mixture to the flour mix and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and evenly arrange the prune slices on top, peel side down. Sprinkle with the streusel mixture. Bake until done. This took about 1 hour and 10 minutes in the 8" pan. It will take less time in a larger pan. Check with a cake tester to be sure. It's a heavy batter and will take more time than a lighter cake to cook. Just keep checking it.
- Cool on a wire rack. When the cake is still slightly warm remove the ring and parchment paper on the sides. Dust with powdered sugar.