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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the plums, cinnamon, lemon zest and brandy, if using, together in a bowl, then leave to macerate while you make the batter.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, then tip in the flour and ground almonds. Mix until completely combined.
Tip the fruit into a buttered shallow baking dish, spoon over the cake batter, then sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Bake for 35-40 mins until browned and cooked through. Test if the pudding is ready by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, the pudding is ready; if there is some batter on the skewer, then give it a few mins more. Remove from the oven and serve warm with clotted cream.