1 punnet of plums, halved with stones removed
100g margarine (of course you can use butter but I do find marg works better in this cake mix)
100g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp Butter plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp of brown sugar
dash of orange/clementine juice (optional)
1/2 tbsp Vanilla bean paste, or good vanilla essence
Make it happen:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC,
In a large pan melt a knob of butter over a medium heat. Next with the cut side facing down, lie the plum halve out and fry for 3-4 minutes, gently shaking the pan every so often to ensure they don't stick.
Once the fruit has softened slightly, add in the orange juice if using, sprinkle in the brown sugar and shake the pan until all the halves have been turned over and coated in the buttery sugary mix.
Next add in the vanilla, if using the vanilla bean paste drizzle it evenly from above (I usually measure by eye, it's really a preference thing here of how sweet you would like the fruit) if using extract, drip in the desired amount evenly over the fruit.
This time vigorously shake the pan and then with a spatula turn over the plum halves until fully coated. Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, don't leave the pan at this time it's important to monitor it to ensure the syrup doesn't burn.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool for about 30mins.
At this point the plums are ready to eat and taste great with greek yoghurt or brioche for a weekend breakfast treat.
Next the sponge topping. This is a classic victoria sponge topping that can be used with a variety of fillings such as apple and blackberry as an alternative to crumble.
Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time with a spoonful of flour. Once fully combined gently fold in the remaining flour. The mix is now ready for the oven.
Lightly grease an oven proof dish and scoop the cooled plums out of the pan into the bottom. At this point depending on the plums and whether or not you used orange juice there may be quite a lot of syrup, use a little of it over the plums but keep some back to pour over during serving.
Bake in the oven for around 40mins, until golden brown and the cake bounces back when pressed lightly. If the top starts to brown too much take it down a shelf and check your oven temperature.
This post is especially for my wonderful friends Jamie and Nicole, who were not only my guinea pigs for this recipe but patiently waited for it to cook after I forgot to turn the oven on....thanks guys! x