Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doorways of Dulwich and Plum Cake

I just spent a fairytale week in Dulwich. When I arrived, I found the Princesses safe and happy. The drama was over and I was able to relax and enjoy my surroundings.
On nightly walks I would photograph the lovely houses that seemed too beautiful to be real.
Even though these were row houses with similar architectural details, the owners had painted the doors and had landscaped the front gardens to reflect their taste.
Each house was a bit different, but charming in it's own way.
Several had front gates, always left ajar as if they were saying "Welcome!"
One had simple details but was brought to life with flowers and a stone walk.
One particular group had details cut into the porch roof.
Every door in every set of row houses were always painted different colors.
Marble columns and ornamental grass graced the entrance of this lovely home.
Sometimes the front entrance would boast stained glass.
This particular door seemed very Madison Avenue with it's gray paint, but the bittersweet curling around the front entrance helped keep it's English flavor.
This enchantress had everything I desire. Tumbling roses, stained glass, marble columns, a brass knocker and a front gate. I'm not sure how to break it to the owners that I'm moving in......
Today, as I sorted the pictures, I kept thinking of Plum Cake. Maybe it was the prune plums from the farmer's market with their greens, purples and reds. Maybe it was a week spent enjoying tea and cake. Either way, I thought a Plum Cake would be a perfect "Welcome Home " treat for my Princess.

Plum Cake
Printable recipe pdf

This is an adaptation of a New York Times recipe published 30 years ago. It calls for a 15 1/2 inch x 10 1/2 inch jelly-roll pan. That I have never used, but I have used a 10 inch, fluted, removable bottom tart pan. Today I used 8, small 3 inch removable bottom tartlette pans.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold cut into pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

8- 3 inch tartlette pans, greased and dusted with flour
6 plums quartered, pit removed
1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, stirred together
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Juice of one lemon

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter cutting it in with a pastry blender, until it resembles coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, add to the flour mixture and stir until combined well. With floured hands break the dough into 8 even pieces. Press these into the tartlette pans.
Place 3 pieces of plum, cut side up on to the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture, lemon juice and melted butter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the plums are cooked through and bubbly. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or simply dust with powered sugar.
Perfect for dessert or breakfast, my Princess loves this cake morning, noon and night.
All pictures and text are property of The Gypsy Chef.


  1. Dulwich looks like a lovely place to visit, and plum cake is a lovely thing to make for someone! I wish someone would make it for me. It looks so summery and beautiful. Great photos, Gypsy Chef!

  2. The doors..the cakes..the Princess:)

  3. These are gorgeous photos. I love the doors--they remind me of Dublin!