plum torte

In dessert on October 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm

there’s something about this recipe that screams old-world glamour to me. especially if you say it the right way – “tort-eh,” like my father does. it is a rich, buttery cake with plum halves sunk into it like jewels. the plums soften and infuse the cake with their flavor and juice.

but honestly, it’s one of the easiest cakes you will ever make, with a totally simple list of ingredients that most people have in their kitchen as we speak. (well, besides the plums, i guess)

i’ve adapted mine from the new york times, although this is a classic cake that my mom has made for years.

start with a dozen or so plums. i used red plums. you want them just shy of ripe – or at least not super ripe – so they hold themselves together when they bake.

cut in half and remove pits.

then mix your batter.

cream 3/4 cup sugar  and 1/2 cup unsalted, room-temp butter. (“cream” means beat them until you can’t tell the difference between the two.) this can be done by hand, of course, but i recommend a stand mixer or a hand beater unless you are looking for a work out as well as a cake.

add two eggs, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla. beat well.

then mix in (mix, don’t beat. makes a difference, i promise) a cup of flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

i have been using red mill gluten free flour, but it’s absolutely terrible and i recommend another brand – any other brand. or real flour, of course.

once you have your flour all incorporated, spoon it into a pan. i used a 9-inch spring form, but you could use a different size (or a non-spring form, if you don’t mind serving it in the pan). just use a big enough pan that the batter is less than an inch thick.

place your plums skin-side UP in the pan, close together but not touching. nestle them in a little, but don’t push them down to the bottom. extra points for a pretty design.

sprinkle with a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (and 1/2 teaspoon ginger if you have it).

bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until golden brown on top.

let cool (and remove from pan, if you’re using a spring form).

see what happens to the plums?? it’s amazing.

and delicious.


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