Plum Kuchen and a Butterfly

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I have a bad habit of riffling through cookbooks, recipe clippings and recipe booklets, and then becoming enamored of a recipe. Before I know it, I’m in the kitchen retrieving the butter from the fridge. In this case, the recipe is for Plum Kuchen, from a booklet called “Pillsbury Simply from Scratch,” published in 1986. Jammy, juicy sliced plums nestle in a soft, buttery crust–yum! The recipe just looks like it came from a fancy bakery–in reality, it’s easier than pie. And with summer upon us, it’s a good recipe for using the luscious stone fruits that will be showing up soon at the grocery store–not just plums, but nectarines, peaches and apricots. Here’s the recipe.

Plum Kuchen

Ready for the oven.
Ready for the oven.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 plums, pitted and sliced

Mix together: 3 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. (I recommend using an electric mixer for this.) Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Pat dough over bottom of pan, and arranged sliced plums over dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the filled pan on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. This kuchen is delicious warm or cool.

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Baking notes: A springform pan can also be used for cheesecakes and tortes. It’s the type of thing that pops up at garage sales and resale shops–look around and you may find one for a dollar. The dough is like a soft sugar cookie dough. To help pat it into the pan, put some confectioners sugar into a small bowl, and dip your fingertips into it as you pat to keep the dough from sticking. I used small red plums, and sliced each into eight pieces. I did my best to arrange the slices in a neat pattern. I made an outer and inner circle, and placed three slices in the middle. It may look a little messy when it goes into the oven, but a masterpiece will emerge!

Butterfly Time

Our kitty Puff was out in the front yard, lounging under a hosta, when I noticed this little butterfly fluttering over the baptisia plant. Baptisia is also called wild indigo, and is a stellar prairie plant for the home garden. I ran back inside for my camera, and was able to take these pictures. I think it’s a clouded sulphur butterfly, but after poring over three butterfly manuals, I have new respect for butterfly experts. There are innumerable sulphurs, and some may be young, some female, some a regional variation. To me, they aren’t easy to identify. (I almost said, “aren’t easy to pin down”), but caught myself! I only capture butterflies with my camera! Hope you enjoy. Peace to you. Fran

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Flying away.
Flying away.
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