The last stone fruits of the season are currently in market. I usually spend stone fruit season fiendishly hoarding different plum varieties to make small batches of preserves for the year. I am always so preoccupied with preserving the best plums of the season for later use, that I forget to actually stop and enjoy them during their peak.
So this is a cake to make up for all that. Juicy blackberries and thin slices of plums sit on top of light crumbly shortbread dough that is generously laced with rosemary and meyer lemon zest. What a combination! The piney fragrance and tea-like flavor of rosemary does wonders in complimenting the plums and blackberries, bringing out unexpected depth. I originally planned to cook the blackberries into a sort of compote that would be spread over the shortbread, but fresh blackberries that I let sit with a bit of sugar and meyer lemon juice worked just as wonderfully. I am all about less work for equally great results. This is a super moist cake that leans towards the messy. The blackberries release tons of tangy juices while in the oven and you will find that they leach freely into the shortbread cake layer that they sit upon. But using completely fresh fruit that is only heated once means that each bite of this cake is an explosion of bright plum and blackberry flavors. A generous scoop of ice cream also doesn’t hurt the cause.
R O S E M A R Y S H O R T B R E A D C A K E W I T H P L U M + B L A C K B E R R Y
for the shortbread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 meyer lemons, zested
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
for the plums and blackberries
4-5 black and purple plums, cut into thin wedges
2 cups blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 meyer lemon, zested
1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
make the shortbread
combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and rosemary into a bowl, mix well. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, cream the butter until light. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Next add in the egg yolks one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add in the dry ingredients quarter cup at a time, mix just until you no longer see any loose flour. Do not overmix.
Divide the dough in half, wrap with parchment paper and freeze overnight.
prepare the topping
Mix the blackberries, sugar, and lemon zest together, allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Separately, cut the plums into thin wedges.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform cake pan. Take the first half of the dough out of the freezer. Grate with either the course side of a box grater or the grater plate of a food processor. Spread the grated dough evenly into the cake pan, place into the freezer to keep cold. Repeat with the second half of frozen dough.
Drain the blackberries and lay them over the dough in a single layer. Carefully lay the plum wedges out over the berries. Start from the outside of the cake and work your way in. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and turbinado sugar.
Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when the edges start to peel away from the pan. Allow to cool completely before serving.