Put the plums in a saucepan with the
sugar and water. Heat gently until the sugar melts, then simmer gently
for 8 minutes. Brush a 1 liter/1.75 pt/4.25 cup ovenproof dish with a
little of the melted butter. Lift the plums out of the syrup with a
draining spoon and lay, cut-sides down, in the dish. Pour the syrup
into a serving jug.
Put the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the eggs
and half the milk. Beat well until smooth, then stir in the remaining
milk and melted butter. Pour over the plums and scatter with flaked
almonds, if using. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6
for about 30 minutes until risen and golden. Dust with a little icing
sugar and serve warm with the reserved plum syrup.