Market Fresh

Turn the season’s last plums into a moist, almond-topped coffee cake

Late-summer Italian prune plums make a sweet, tangy filling for Dovetail pastry chef Vera Tong′s coffee cake, a brunch-sized riff on one she serves with brown-butter ice cream (pictured) at the Upper West Side restaurant.

This fruit—with blue-purple skin and dense, yellow flesh—is ideal for baking: the pit practically falls out when you halve one, and the plums hold their shape well when cooked. The plums are available at supermarkets and farmers′ markets until mid-October; pick ones that are fairly firm to slightly soft.

Italian Prune-Plum Coffee Cake

Makes one 10-inch cake

¾ cup sliced almonds

1½ pounds Italian prune-plums, pitted and quartered

1½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 3 tablespoons cold butter, diced

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

4 large eggs

1½ cups sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and bake for about 5 minutes, or until toasted. Let cool.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the plums with ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

3. In a small bowl, using a fork, combine the brown sugar with the cold butter and cinnamon. Stir in the almonds.

4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the remaining 1¼ cups of granulated sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, at low speed. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture. Beat in ¾ cup of the sour cream. Beat in the remaining flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the remaining ¾ cup sour cream.

5. Scrape half the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the plums on top. Spread the remaining batter over the plums and sprinkle with the almond mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Transfer the cake to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve.

Dovetail, 103 W. 77th St.; 212-362-3800 or dovetailnyc.com