Plums

So last night I ventured out for plums, armed with stepladders to reach them down with (I’m only short) and two children, so I wouldn’t look strange. Somehow, doing odd activities with children makes them acceptable. I should point out that they weren’t just random children grabbed from the street. That’s not acceptable. I borrowed Greater Journey‘s kids who were more than happy to tag along and pick blackberries.

With a small bag full of plums to add to my collection, I got home and set to work. After all, all this fruit isn’t going to keep forever.

I decided to bake the plums into a cake, and found a recipe for plum cake that used raisins. I replaced the raisins with the elderberries I’d picked – just the right amount for cake, but not enough for anything else – and got baking. I’ll put the recipe at the bottom.

While I had the oven on for cake, I sterilised some glass jars. I made sloe gin last night (which sadly won’t be even vaguely ready to drink until Christmas) and tonight I’m attempting jam.

Full report on how that goes tomorrow…

Plum and elderberry cake

225g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g butter
50g elderberries (you can use sultanas instead)
50g soft brown sugar plus 2 tblsp for sprinkling
2 large eggs
4 tblsp golden syrup
225g plums, stoned and chopped

Preheat oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin (I used two loaf tins and divided the mix). Rub the flour, half the cinnamon and the butter together. Add the elderberries and 50g brown sugar and stir.
Beat eggs and syrup together in a separate bowl, add plums, then stir into flour mixture. Transfer to tin and level surface.
Mix rest of brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of cake mixture.
Cook in centre of oven for 45-50 mins and then test. It should be risen and just firm to the touch when cooked.
Cut into squares (don’t wait til it’s cool) and EAT.

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