Monday, October 13, 2008

Plum Torte


On Saturday I went out into the glory that is Western New York in the fall. My friend Heidi and I went up to Lake Erie and then turned generally westward into ruralness. We found a roadside stand with much fresh produce and I bought a pumpkin, a yellow-fleshed watermelon, and a bag of prune plums. Well, I don't actually like plums. But they looked so darn enticing on that roadside stand, so Williams Carlos Williamsy. I chose to make with them the very famous "plum torte" that was published for 15 consecutive years in the New York Times-- their #1 most requested recipe. Turns out the cake was lovely. Memorable? I am not so sure that it was memorable. It was also not as beautiful when baked as it was before it was baked. It is rather plain. But among all this I suppose we find its virtues-- versatility and simplicity, perfection of proportions rather than presentation. Other virtues, and what virtues they are, are its ease of preparation and how lovely the batter looks and feels when you spread it into the pan! Like fluffy silk.

Plum Torte

1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar, plus more for topping
1 c AP flour, sifted
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
1 t ground cinnamon, or more to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar. Whisk together dries; add to creamed mixture. Add eggs, beat well.
3. Spoon batter into an 8,9, or 10-inch springform pan (I used a lightly greased pie plate). Place plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with 1 t cinnamon, or to taste. (I used a couple of tablespoons of sugar mixed with the cinnamon for even distribution.)
4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (40 was enough in my oven). Remove and cool to lukewarm, remove sides of pan, and serve.

1 comment:

Jolene said...

I made the plum torte last night as part of a Reb Eat World menu for your birthday. The torte is very good! In fact, we like it better than the crumble. Having bought more apples today at the market, I'm thinking about making the torte with apple slices.