Marion Burros' Original Fall Plum Torte
You know I am not a fruit lover.
I love an apple cake, I like citrus in most desserts, figs (no brainer) and in-season cherries. That's where it ends. (That's actually more that I thought I liked!).
Though plums are not my favorite, they are so ripe and beautiful now, with that dusty blue purplish hue, that I always buy them.
The weather is a bit cooler now, so it's time to start baking again.
This dessert is so simple and delicious. It's not too sweet and it showcases whatever fruit you like.
You can use this cake as a base for an apple or peach cake, it's a no brainer and can be whipped up in no time at all.
The original recipe calls for 24 halved plums, which is 12 plums, which would not fit in a 9" springform pan, so I reduced the amount to 4 plums, and I quartered them. Not sure why some recipes just don't read right. It also calls for an hour baking time, but my cake was well done after 45 minutes, so keep an eye on it.
It is from Marion Burros, originally printed in the New York Times, many moons ago.
Go get some ripe plums and make this beauty.
Marion Burros' Plum Torte (adapted from the New York Times):
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 ripe pitted purple plums, cut into quarters or slices
juice of half a lemon
sugar and cinnamon for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. Cream sugar and butter in a bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs, and beat well.
3. Spoon the batter into a 9" springform pan (you can use any pan, really). Place the plum quarters skin side up on top, pushing them into the batter.
Squeeze lemon juice all over the fruit and sprinkle lightly with sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or to taste.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Out tomorrow. Happy weekend.
If I can select my own, I opt for smaller ones though none are usually big. The best deal is a 4# clamshell at Costco. Leftovers can be frozen in bags as is. Or one can look for the grat recipes Laurie Colwin came up with for these. I make her recipe for an oven-baked sort of compote which sits (for not long) in my refrigerator, ready to go over ice cream or be eaten out of the jar with a spoon when no one is looking.
These Italian plums are rather blah eating, IMO. The richly pigmented skin is where the main blast of rich flavor resides, and cooking releases it. Absolutely delectable.
Catherine mentioned damsons. This writer is enamored of them. I had only heard of them in the UK.