A farmstand & a cake

Taking a page out of every New Yorker’s summer agenda, Dustin & I ventured to the Hamptons this past weekend with my dearest friend Gail & her hubby Hugh…Can you believe it? I went somewhere else in New York that wasn’t up the Hudson!

It was a wonderful weekend filled with plenty of saltwater, laughs, hydrangeas, fresh fish, serenity, beach sand, local fruits & veggies, stories, wine, more stories, more wine, more stories, etc. Gail & Hugh graciously hosted us in their beautiful home as they gave us a little taste of what Southampton had to offer.

*Check out Gail’s blog, Painting the Hamptons, for ALL THE THINGS that the Hamptons have to offer!

One of my favorite pit stops was a farmstand at the North Sea Country Farm in Southampton. After exploring the farm, admiring their sunflowers, & harassing the chickens, we picked up a number of fresh local treats to feast on throughout the weekend. Watermelon, sweet corn, lettuces, nectarines, carrots, & some beautifully ripe plums. When we returned back to the city after a great weekend, I felt compelled to make a cake using these juicy stonefruits…along with figuring out a way to have my own hydrangea bush in my Brooklyn apartment…The cake was much more of a success than the latter. Weh.

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Note: This recipe is adapted from Heidi Swanson, blogger at 101 Cookbooks, it’s featured in her cookbook Super Natural Every Day. I’ve made this cake before with strawberries instead of plums & it was wonderfully tart. Heidi also recommends for a winter version of this cake, substitute the plums with 12 pitted & quartered Medjool dates & 1 C. lightly toasted walnuts. (YUM!)

Heidi is also coming out with a second cookbook, Near & Far, on September 15! Woo!

Buttermilk Cake
Ingredients:
-1 & 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
-1 C. corn flour
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-1/2 C. natural cane sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 large eggs
-1 & 1/2 C. buttermilk (My newest trick has been putting my leftover buttermilk into ice trays and making buttermilk ice cubes. Whenever I need buttermilk for a recipe, I just let 4-5 cubes melt in a bowl at room temperature et voilà! Damn the man who only sells buttermilk by the quart, I have stumped you.)
-1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
-Grated zest of 3 lemons
-5 to 6 ripe plums, but not overly ripe
-3 Tbsp. large-grain raw sugar

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the top third of the oven.
-Butter and flour an 11-inch round tart/quiche pan (Heidi also says that a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking dish will work too. I had neither, but my 9-inch glass round baking dish did just fine.)
-Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cane sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
-In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs & buttermilk, whisk in the melted (but not hot!) butter & lemon zest.
-Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixtures, stir briefly, until just combined.
-Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges a bit. Scatter the plums across the top, sprinkle with the large-grain sugar.
-Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake has set (Being that I used a smaller baking dish, the center of my cake was a bit stubborn at setting, took about 30-32 minutes in the oven.) A toothpick to the center should come out clean.
-Serve warm or at room temperature & enjoy!

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-ttfn

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