Summer Plum Cake
- 5 oz butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 lb all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 ¾ lb plums
In a bowl, work the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon until creamy. Then add the egg yolks and mix well.
Then add the flour a little at a time, mixing as you go. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold them to the mixture together with a pinch of salt and the baking powder, using a wooden spoon.
Once the cake batter is well mixed, pour it into a buttered and floured cake pan. Wash the plums, cut the in half, remove the seeds and peel. Reassemble them to their original shape and insert them into the batter.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes.
Throughout history, the price of food has always influenced how and where it was consumed. Some ingredients that are now easy to find just about anywhere, were once very rare and could only be afforded by certain social classes.
This was the case of sugar: In ancient Rome, for example, it was used almost exclusively for pharmaceutical purposes because of its high price tag due to the fact that it had to be imported from the east. The culinary uses for sugar were introduced in Europe around the eleventh century, however, the Europeans used it more as a spice than as a sweetener, once again due to its high cost. Only noble families could afford to sweeten their desserts with sugar.
In the sixteenth century, however, sugar cane began to be cultivated in the New World, increasing its availability on the European market. The price of sugar dropped, allowing more and more people to use it to sweeten cakes and desserts.
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