As seen in our BISTRO NIGHTS class. Can be made without grilling the plums, too. Other stone fruits work well, such as peaches and nectarines.


  • Fruit:

  • 4 each Italian plums, halved or other stone fruit
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • Cake batter:
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, stone ground
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rapidly boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted )or use EVOO instead


Adjust oven to lower-middle position and set at 425 degrees F. Prepare pan(s) with a little butter. (can be made as individual cakes in straight sided cupcake pan)
For fruit: Prepare fruit by washing, peeling if needed, and grill cut side down onto preheated grill, just to mark and caramelize slightly. Cool, leave halves or cut into slices; reserve.
Melt butter with brown sugar and water over low heat and distribute over bottom of prepared pan(s). Distribute cut cooled fruit over syrup in bottom of pan. Reserve while preparing cake batter.

For cake batter: Measure 1/2 cup cornmeal into medium size bowl.
Whisk all the remaining cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt baking powder baking soda (dry ingredients) together in small bowl and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup boiling water into reserved cornmeal, and stir to combine, adding a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until a lump free smooth mush is formed. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up any lumps. Whisk in eggs just to combine. Stir in reserved dry ingredients and mix just to moisten. Stir in melted butter just to incorporate. DO NOT OVER MIX!

Pour batter over fruit and bake until golden brown, 20-30 minutes for 9″ pan and 12-15 minutes for individual cakes. Cool on rack about 5-10 minutes; remove while warm so that fruit doesn’t stick to the bottom. If it does, heat bottom 1 – 2 minutes; invert and remove.


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