I love to serve this easy, one-bowl cake after a barbecue because it is intensely flavoured yet extremely light. It's at its best when plated alongside a plum compote, but you can use whatever stone fruit you prefer; just switch up the fruit in the cake to match. (Pluots – a cross between a plum and an apricot – make a tasty, particularly juicy version.) The compote is delicious on its own or with a small cookie and some whipped cream, but you can also serve the cake with ice cream or gelato.
Ready time: 3 hours (including cooling time)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lime rind, grated
1 1/2 cups plums, pitted and chopped
1 cup plum jam
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup port; 6 plums (about 1 1/4 pounds), pitted and cut into 8 pieces each
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-litre loaf pan and line the base of it with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, yogurt, rind and eggs in one large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined (about 3 minutes).
Stir in plums.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. If it seems to be browning too much, place a piece of parchment over the top. Place baked cake on rack and cool for 30 minutes. Remove from pan, remove paper and let cool completely.
To make the compote, place jam, juice and port in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until jam is liquified (about 3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium low, add plums and poach in liquid until slightly softened (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove plums, raise heat and boil sauce down until slightly thickened (about 5 to 10 minutes). Return plums and cool.
Serve 1 or 2 slices of cake with compote.
Makes about 16 slices of cake (and plenty of compote for other desserts).