Italian prunes are one of those seasonal fruit with such a short season, if you blink you might miss it. When they appeared in the market last week, I bought a big bag full and worried about what I would do with them later. I had drooled over a plum-almond cake on one of my favorite blogs, Food on Fifth, in the summer. Then as if Teresa Bkackburn was reading my mind, she published an Italian prune tart recipe. Because I couldn’t choose one recipe over the other, I blended both to create a cake to serve at a luncheon I was hosting. So was born Italian Prune-Almond Cake complete with the prunes soaking in Amaretto first. Love at first bite. A prune-studded beauty with the triple layers of almond flavoring shining through. I doubled the original recipe to serve a large group.
Italian Prune and Almond Cake
Preheat oven to 325 F
10-12 Italian prunes, cut in half and pitted
3 T Amaretto liqueur, divided
2 T brown sugar
2 sticks of butter, melted
1 c almond meal
1/2 c flour (or almond flour for gluten free option)
3 t almond extract
1 1/4 c raw sugar
1/2 c sliced almonds(I used Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Almonds)
powdered sugar to dust on top
whipped cream, optional
In a bowl, toss the prunes with 2 T of the Amaretto and the brown sugar. Let them macerate while you prepare the cake batter. Generously butter a 9 inch springform pan. Put the melted butter in a large mixing bowl, then add the eggs, almond meal, flour, sugar, almond extract and the remaining tablespoon of Amaretto. Mix until just combined. Pour into the pan. Drain the prunes and place, cut side down, on top of your cake. Sprinkle the almonds across the top. Bake until golden, 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, then carefully remove sides. Dust generously with powdered sugar.