Gourmet Galley: Summer is a berry, berry good time to cook

Making a cake with plums got me into the mood to make other desserts with fresh fruit.

Everyone likes fruit, especially in the summertime.

I saw chef John Folse making a Plum Upside Down Cake on WAFB-TV’s “Stirrin’ It Up” segment. I happened to have quite a few fresh plums in the refrigerator and couldn’t wait to make the cake. I knew I would like the tart sweetness of the plums with a simple, thin cake layer on the bottom.

Folse’s instructions called for four firm plums. Well, mine were past the firm stage and were really ripe, but I tried it anyway. While Folse’s cake had pretty plum slices decorating the top, my ripe plums lost their shape during the cooking but the flavor was delicious. So, go for the firmer plums if you want a pretty design on the top.

“If you’re a chocolate aficionado, use your favorite chocolate cake recipe because purple plums and chocolate pair well together,” Folse said.

Having been at the Red Stick Farmers Market the day before, I had fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Plus, I had picked up some raspberries and the plums at the grocery store, so I kept going with the berry ideas.

I made a cobbler using a combination of berries. That particular cobbler batter just dots the top of the berries. The dessert is mainly berries with a little sweet dough baked on the top. If you serve the cobbler warm, add a small spoonful of ice cream or frozen yogurt over the top.

My everyday favorite for breakfast or dessert is a cup of mixed fruit topped with a spoonful of flavored yogurt and nuts.

If you have plain or vanilla yogurt in the refrigerator, spice it up with a shake of cinnamon, brown sugar or honey and add a small dollop to the top of your fruit.

You don’t need a recipe because you don’t need much, just use what’s in the refrigerator or pantry to dress up a yogurt topping.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.