Another better late than never recipe...
Last Sunday.. not the one just passed.. the previous one. I started assembling a new bedside table. I started strong even if Arthur was against me the entire time and had an aversion to this new piece of furniture. He sat on the pieces I needed next, attempted to chew the corners, decided that the screws were his latest toy and when I went to screw a new screw in... that was his time to attack my hand/screwdriver. But even with Arthur against me and procrastination looming heavy in the background in the form of youtube videos or online shopping I pursued! Arthur and I did have another altercation or two when he insisted the frame of the bed side table was his new cubby house and the assembled draws were his new bed.
Although I did have a momentary lapse and decided to make the famous Plum Torte from the New York Times in between draw one and two. It was only fair to have a break right? I was nearly done anyway. Plus I said I would bring dessert to dinner at Tristan's parents and I couldn't go empty handed... actually I have wanted to make this recipe for a while now and it just so happened to be that plums were in season and on special at the supermarket.
The original Plum Torte recipe by Marian Burros featured in the New York Times every September from 1983 for 12 years. I first read about this recipe in one of my favourite memoirs I always talk about 'My Berlin Kitchen' by Luisa Weiss (The Wednesday Chef) but she didn't seem too enthusiastic about it. Since then I've read a few other blog posts about it and (Smitten Kitchen is a gooden) and they seemed to rave about it. Then I saw these photo's on Bon Appetempt by Amelia Morris and I couldn't not make this when plums were in season, it looks beautiful!
With plums looking deliciously ripe and moorish surrounded in cake batter. Um how can you not like this right? The cake batter rises up and around the plum halves, encasing them in cake.
This was a HUGE hit! Tristan loved it and so did his family. Between four of us we managed to eat three quarters of the cake after dinner. Tristan then ate the remaining quarter for dessert the next night (I didn't get a look in) and said it tasted even better. Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen says you shouldn't even touch it on the first day you make it and leave it until the following day because it's that much better. Let's be honest... mine's not going to win any cake decorating contests but it will impress anyone who eats it.
Will definitely be making this again. It was such a simple recipe with a big wow factor. Might have to pick some more plums up on my way home from work this week :)
THE Plum TorteRecipe by Marian Burros from Elegant but Easy and The Essential New York Times Cookbook.
(also found on these blogs: The Wednesday Chef, Bon Appetempt, Smitten Kitchen and NYTimes cooking)
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Large pinch of salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon
115 grams unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted (or 5-6 larger ones)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
-In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale in colour.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Make sure you scrap down the side of the bowl then add the dry ingredients and mix by hand until just combined.
- Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch spring-form pan and smooth the top using the bak of a spoon or palette knife.
- Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, cinnamon, then the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted and comes out with no gooey batter (make sure you don't stick it in a plum). Cool on a rack and serve.
- If you have enough restraint or baked this a day early for an event. Once at room temperature, cover and leave till the next day. It gets better!