2 1/3 cup/291g all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon/12ml baking powder
3/4 teaspoon/3ml salt
1 cup/192g sugar (reserve 1/4 cup/48g)
1/2 cup/110g/118ml shortening
3/4 cup/185ml milk
2 eggs (large)
2 tablespoons/30ml fine dry bread crumbs
40 fresh plums (prune, Damson, or greengage), pitted and cut in half; or use 2 cans (30 ounces/850g) whole purple plumbs drained and pitted
3 tablespoons/45g/45ml butter, cut in pieces
1/4 teaspoon/1ml ground cloves
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 3/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, milk, and eggs. Beat at medium speed for four minutes.
Grease bottom and sides of 13x9x2 inch/33 x 23 x 5 cm pan. Coat with bread crumbs.
Turn batter into prepared pan. Place plums on top, pushing on edge of each half down 1/4 inch/,6cm into batter. Dot with butter.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup/48g sugar and cloves; mix well. Sprinkle over plums.
Bake at 350F/180C/Gas 4 for about 40 minutes.
To serve, cut into pieces.
Apple Cake Recipe: Prepare Plum Cake as directed, substituting four large apples, pared and thinly sliced, for the plums.