Hi folks BBC2 here hoping that your Christmas is going well and that you are surviving everyone’s expectations. In the run up to Christmas we are overloaded with images and sounds that makes us go into overdrive and start planning well in advance, who will be coming or who are we going to? How many are coming, should we invite ‘so and so’ and what size turkey should we get ? “Just get the biggest one!”
Then we negotiate the shops getting presents for everyone, then the food shopping has to be done and guess what everyone else has to do their shopping when you do! Madness, but every year we go through the same ritual, and I tell myself that next year I will have planned and completed all those tasks well before Christmas or we will not be going anywhere and no one will be coming to us and it never happens.
But this year no one is coming to us and we are not going anywhere, the shopping was all finished by the 23rd so now just hoping that the windy weather doesn’t mean we will lose our electric! It should be a good Christmas if we can cook the food we have bought, with that in mind I made this plum sponge using some of the plums I had in the fruit bowl, most were too hard to eat but some going mushy! And as BBC2 hates Christmas pudding I may win some brownie points! Please give this a try at some point and do let us know what you think.
85g/3oz light brown sugar
For the sponge
110g/4oz self-raising flour
110g/4oz soft unsalted butter
110g/4oz caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
A couple drops of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160c fan and lightly butter and line the base of a deep 8 inch pie dish with a disc of greaseproof paper, and then pat down the light brown sugar to cover the base evenly.
Now cut a slice off one of the plums and place it in the centre cut side down, then cut the rest of the plums in half and remove the stones cutting each half into thin half-moon slices. Place them around the centre plum disc so that each half-moon over laps the last one until the whole base is covered, take your time with this as when the sponge is cooked and turned out this will be the top.
Put the softened butter and sugar into a large bowl or food mixer and cream them together until light and fluffy, then add one egg at a time and beat in until it is incorporated then beat in the second egg and beat until that is also incorporated and you have a light and fluffy mixture, now sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix adding a few drops of vanilla extract until you have a smooth mixture.
Next carefully spoon over the plums ensuring that you do not disturb the decorative pattern you made with the plums, then gently smooth out the mixture and place in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, the centre of the sponge may take a little longer depending on your oven, if it does pop a loose bit of aluminium foil over the top to stop it colouring.
When it is cooked leave it to stand in the tin for 5 minutes then run a pallet knife around the loosened edge, now place an upturned plate over the sponge and in one movement turn the plate and pie dish over, remove the disc of greaseproof paper and serve with custard or ice-cream.