It is the season in which we eat cake for breakfast and pretend it is wholesome because it contains fruit. Join us, won't you?
1 stick butter
1/2 c. sugar plus 2 Tbs. for topping
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° F. Beat the butter and 1/2 c. sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then mix thoroughly with the wet ingredients. Mix in the extract. Put this batter in a greased 10" pie pan. Pit and cut up your plums -- if they are the little kind, cut them in half; if they are larger than about 2" across, cut them in quarters. Arrange the plums cut side down on top of the batter, leaving about 1/4" to 1/2" in between the pieces. Mix together the 2 Tbs. of sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. The resulting coat of cinnamon sugar will be quite generous. Bake for 45 minutes, in which time the cake will rise up around the plums in a beautiful way, and cool in the pan. Serve in wedges directly from the pan.
Like so many of the things I describe here, this cake is very simple to make. People adore it and will ask you to make it again and again. It's handy for times when you have to whip something up on short notice, or when you are feeling harried but feel that dessert is called for. Do not, however, plan to serve it directly out of the oven, because the plums will of course become little heat bombs of death.
We eat a slice apiece each morning until it is gone (about four days), feeling just as if we were living in some idealized French country farmhouse. It keeps very nicely out on the counter, as long as it is covered. Plastic wrap will do the job, but it gets recalcitrant about being removed and reattached by the end of the cake's tenure. Fortunately, I have just discovered how ideal the glass lid to our pasta pot is for this job. If you have such an appropriately-sized lid, you might try it, too.