Plum Torte for the End of Summer

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It’s the end of the summer, you can spin the light to gold…if it’s not drizzling. The leaves haven’t turned yet, but it’s noticeably cooler. Suddenly there’s a (laughable) pumpkin spice version of every imaginable product. The farmer’s market is full of decorative gourds, but I’m not quite ready to embrace all the apples.

So plums then.

Sometimes you need an introvert weekend, when you watch nerdy movies and obsessively watch coverage of Hurricane Joaquin while New York City drips on the tourists. The Martian was great, by the way. We hadn’t planned to go grocery shopping or take on big cooking projects, but there was a store next to the movie theater and they had plums, so I decided to make Deb’s plum torte. It has crunchy dense edges that speak to fall spices and dark fruit flavors.

Plum Torte

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (the aluminum-free kind, if you can find it)
Large pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon for sprinkling on top at the end (depending on sweetness of plums)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
6 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted (or crappy supermarket black plums, sliced thin and fanned out so they at least look pretty)
1/2 a small lemon of juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F. Prep 6” round cake pan with oil, parchment, more oil.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add egg. Scrape down bowl. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into pan and spread into some semblance of flatness. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then 1-2 tbsp sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out without sticky batter, about 30-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

This cake is even better on the second day, when those plum juices further release into the the cake around it. Plums are fruit and fruit is a good breakfast right?

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