I can’t think of summer in Luxembourg and not think of mirabelles! In the French city of Metz, which is a short hour’s drive away from Luxembourg city, they even have an annual Mirabelle festival. I always get super excited when the first mirabelles appear at the markets… For years, I missed out on these sweet little yellow plums, as I was living in the UK, where mirabelles are far less prominent.
If you’ve never eaten a mirabelle, think of them as fragrant little, cherry-sized plums. The season is rather short: from the beginning of August until mid September, so it’s worth making the most of it. Most people make mirabelle tarts (often just fruit snuggled on top of a simple yeast dough) and mirabelle jam – and it’s worth buying a bottle of mirabelle schnapps when you’re visiting Luxembourg!
While researching mirabelle recipes I found that most often keep it very simple: a Lorraine mirabelle tart is made with vanilla custard, mirabelle clafoutis pairs the fruit with the eggy clafoutis batter and mirabelle compote is often just made with a bit of sugar and no additional spice.
Indeed, the subtle flavour of the mirabelle plum is easily overpowered by other flavours. So, for this cake I kept it simple too. The desiccated coconut adds texture rather than strong flavour, while the buckwheat flour makes it a bit heartier in flavour (buckwheat flour being less sweet than white wheat flour). I initially made this cake without cinnamon, but in hindsight I would add a cheeky teaspoon to bring in a subtle hint of spice (as marked below in the recipe), but you can happily omit this.
The cake is perfect as a breakfast loaf, as it’s not too sweet, and goes well with a cup of coffee. It keeps for 2 days wrapped in foil at room temperature.