Courtesy of Candace Nelson, co-founder and exec pastry chef at Pizzana
1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wrap the outside (bottom and sides) of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil and set it on the baking sheet.*
2. Make the cornmeal batter:
3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 10 tablespoons of the butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully blended between additions.
Reduce the speed to low and add half the flour mixture, then the sour cream, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
6. In a small saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter with the 1/2 cup brown sugar and honey over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is bubbling and the sugar has partially dissolved, 2 minutes.
Drizzle the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan, then add the plum slices, very tightly overlapping, in concentric circles so that they completely cover the bottom of the pan. (Keep in mind the fruit will shrink during cooking and you want to avoid too much of the cake poking through). Pour the batter over the plums smoothing it out to the sides to evenly cover the surface.
7. Bake, turning halfway through, until the surface is deeply golden and the middle of the cake provides resistance when pressed lightly with your finger, approximately 70 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, run a sharp knife around the rim of the cake, then invert the cake onto your desired serving platter and let it sit, still in the springform pan, for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard the foil from the outside of the pan, then release and remove the springform ring from the pan. The top of the cake will be juicy and almost pudding-like from the plums. Eat warm, like a bread pudding, with ice cream, or cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream.
*Tip: Since the unbaked batted can be a bit runny, we recommend wrapping the springform pan in aluminum foil for an extra layer of insurance against leaks. Once baked, make sure to follow the directions, letting the cake sit, inverted, in its pan before releasing the outer ring – this will ensure that all the plums end up on top of your cake – not stuck in the pan.