When you live in Minnesota, it feels really exotic to see local fruit other than melons, apples and berries. Last year I made jelly with some Concord grapes I bought at a Farmer’s Market they held in our workplace cafeteria of all places. I didn’t even know they grew around here.
There have been plums this year at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market. And more than one kind! What riches. Last week I wrote about the apple and plum pie I made in my cast iron skillet. I kind of promised that next I would make an apple cake in the skillet. But when I went to buy more apples I saw these gorgeous plums. I couldn’t resist them and since plums are much more perishable than apples are, the plums moved to the front of the line.
Fortunately I remembered that last year I bought a couple of dessert cookbooks that are written especially for fruit. One is “Sweet Simplicity” by Jacques Pepin. I found a recipe for Plum Upside Down Gingerbread in the other one, David Lebovitz’s “Ripe for Dessert.”
Jewel-colored plums are nestled into melted butter and brown sugar and covered with a blanket of gingerbread. The vanilla ice cream in the freezer was already screaming at me.
One tip for using ground ginger. Keep dried whole pieces of ginger on hand. It lasts indefinitely and you can grate it as you need it with your nutmeg grater. You can find whole dried ginger at spice shops like Penzeys or The Spice House.
This is only the second time I’ve made gingerbread cake and the first time I’ve made an upside down cake. The results were even better than I hoped they would be. The plums, ginger and cinnamon all complement each other really well.
Mmmm! Still warm from the oven with that vanilla ice cream.