Now is the season for too much– and too many. I am swamped with plumcots, those speckled crosses between apricots and plums, the garnet hue shocking under the frosted skin. I have a few in a basket here mixed with a few of my Harrold Red apples, and as you see I have polished up a few so you can see the difference.
Here is possibly my favorite use for such fruit. It’s an adaptable simple recipe that tolerates haste and imperfection but still tastes both fresh and happy in the mouth. Not a pretty cake but full of flavor, using the whole wheat to give a nuttiness that showcases the fruit.
Robin’s Rude Fresh Fruit Cake
Rude in the sense of rough, but perfectly well-mannered enough for any company.(Apple, Pineapple, Pear, Peach, Plumcot, any of these or more will work.)
Sift if you insist, or otherwise simply mix in a 9″ x 13″ deep sided baking pan, no need to grease it:
1 1/2 cups standard white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tablespoon psyllium husk (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Throw together in a bowl:
3/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or grape seed work well)
3 eggs slightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup of golden raisins (optional– I often forget this.)
3 to 6 cups of coarsely chopped (about 1″ chunks but don’t get obsessive– both smaller and bigger will work) cored fruit, skins included. I like about 6 cups but have been rumored to exceed even that. If you go overboard the cake becomes more and more like a pudding!
Mix the wet and dry ingredients casually together– use your fingers if you like, in the baking dish until there are no big areas of the dry stuff and place in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes and test with a toothpick for doneness. Try not to overbake. You want the batter cooked, nicely set to a crumb, but not hard. If you overbake it and it seems too dry, douse with a half cup of cider or the like while still hot, concentrating on the edges of the pan.
Note— if you want this to be more like an upside down cake you could place half or more of the fruit on the bottom of the pan, mixing the rest into the batter before topping it.