Plum Almond Cake

plum almond cake Every summer around this time of year I look forward to those tiny dark Italian plums that start to appear at the farm stands and markets, as soon as I see them I scoop them up to make a cake or a torte. Last year I made the Purple Plum Torte from the N.Y. Times Cookbook.

plum almond cake

This year I couldn’t wait to make the Plum Almond Cake from Williams Sonoma’s Rustic Italian by Domenica Marchetti, and I’m so glad I did, its my new favorite!

plum almond cake I could go on and on about how fabulous this recipe is but you’re just going to have to make it for yourself. I loved the texture of the crumb, there’s almond meal added in and it makes the texture and taste so amazing.

plum almond cake

There’s also almond flavoring throughout, but what seals the deal for me is the crunchy almond topping, so much flavor in each bite!

plum almond cake

The plums get all jammy as they bake and a pretty ruby red color appears, such a wonderful dessert, I hope you make it!

If you can’t find the small Italian plums I’m sure any variety would be just as good, in fact I think any stone fruit would work just fine.

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Here’s a link to the original recipe, below is my adapted version.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Plum Almond Cake
Adapted from Williams -Sonoma's Rustic Italian by Domenica Marchetti
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 cup, unbleached flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons, baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon, salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup, half and half
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon, pure almond extract
  • 9 Italian plums, halved and pitted
  • ¼ cup of sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 inch springform pan then dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl combine the oil, egg, half and half, zest and juice, sugar and almond extract, blend together.
  4. Add the wet to the dry whisking until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan, arrange plums on top of batter, cut side up.
  6. Mix together the 2 Tablespoons of sugar, almonds and butter, then dot the topping all over the cake.
  7. Bake for around 45 minutes, I put my pan on a rimmed baking sheet for easy in and out of the oven.
  8. I ended up baking mine a little more because the color wasn't deep enough and ovens do vary, just make sure the center comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before you remove the ring and cut into it.


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Stuffed Peppers Italian Style with Sausage and Mozzarella

melrose peppers Normally when you see a recipe for stuffed peppers you’ll see the bell shaped variety being used but I look forward to this time of year because a very special pepper starts to show up in Italian markets around Chicagoland, they’re called Melrose Peppers. I’ve done posts on them in the past like this one.

They came to be called Melrose peppers because as the story goes, many years ago a family from Calabria, Italy eventually settled into a suburb of Chicago called Melrose Pk. They brought with them the seeds of this very special, delicious thinned skinned pepper.They quickly became popular among gardeners in the Italian community and then soon after that they started appearing in all the fruit and vegetable stands, and the rest is history.

stuffing peppers Even though I’m featuring and stuffing my favorite Melrose peppers for this recipe, you can honestly use any type of elongated pepper such as a cubanelle or the sweet and long red pepper variety.

All you’re going to do is cut off the top then take a knife and make a slit down one side but not all the way, you still want the pepper to remain in tact, then just scoop out the seeds.

Then buy the best Italian sausage available, mine always has fennel and red pepper flakes for a little heat. If you can buy it in bulk go ahead, if not just remove it from the casing. Place it into a bowl then add a good amount of shredded mozzarella and mix well, that’s your stuffing!

stuffed peppers Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then drizzle all over with olive oil and place your peppers onto it after you stuff them with the mixture.

stuffed peppers Then it’s a quick drizzle all over the top, add salt and pepper and place them into a 400 degree oven for about half an hour, depending on what type of pepper you’re using.

stuffed peppers You’re aiming for soft and tender and of course the sausage being fully cooked as well as seeing the cheese has melt.

stuffed peppersstuffed peppers When you’re ready to serve spoon some warm marinara over the top and onto the serving plate.

stuffed peppers The flavor combination is divine, this is stuffed peppers at it’s finest!

stuffed peppers

Add some crusty bread with a nice green salad and dinner is served!

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Hasselback Zucchini

hasselback zucchini Hasselback zucchini, who would have thought? It’s a brilliant idea and such a fun and delicious way to cook up your summer squash. It’s sliced in the hasselback fashion just like we’ve seen it done to potatoes, only minus the carbs. I recently featured this on my Instagram account but for those who haven’t seen it there, I thought I’d share it here on my blog.

hasselback zucchini Slice your zucchini accordion style being very careful not to cut all the way through, you don’t want it to break apart, you just want to be able to fan out nicely. There’s a very good technique using chopsticks on each side of the zucchini while you’re slicing it which will prevent that from happening, check out YouTube for a visual, it’s very easy and works well.

hasselback zucchini Once it’s cut, gently fan out the slices and stuff some cheese in there, I used slices of asiago cheese but just remember the slices have to be thin, there’s not much room to stick thick pieces into the slots, also try to use a semi-hard cheese, nothing too soft.

hasselback zucchini After you stuff each slice, place the zucchini onto a parchment lined baking sheet then drizzle them with olive oil, some salt and pepper and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

hasselback zucchini Place your hasselback zucchini into a hot 400 degree oven and roast until the cheese melts and the zucchini is tender but not mushy.

hasselback zucchini You could stop right at this point and enjoy it as is, and believe me it’s very good, but……

hasselback zucchini You might want to bathe them in some warm marinara sauce like I did, because honestly the sauce just enhances each and every bite even more.

It’s outrageous!

Happy Summer

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