John Scott's Plum Torte

This is one of the simplest and most sublime of fruit desserts.

Prune plums have a short season, in fall, and whenever you see them snatch them up and bake two of these! It freezes well, wrapped in plastic and then in foil. Eat one, freeze the other.

You may be tempted to gussy this up with vanilla or nuts or other flavors. Do not do so. This is one of the most perfect things of its kind. The dough is thick and sticky and uninspiring to look upon. But it will swell and rise over the plums you nestled on top so that it engulfs the lemon juice, the sugar and cinnamon so that your finished torte will be a low, dense, creamy cake with a rich vein of plum throughout - everything from a thin blush of plum juice to a fat, juicy candy-like fruit. This is my favorite dessert and that includes chocolate recipes.

Note: mysteriously, it's even better when it has been refrigerated; it becomes even more dense and toothsome.

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 c unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
8 large prune plums, 12 medium or up to 24 small (see below), halved
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 inch spring form pan and cover bottom with a circle of parchment. (You can skip the parchment but the cake will have to be scraped off the bottom.)

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter in two batches, alternately with the eggs. Beat until thoroughly mixed.

Pour into pan and spread evenly. Half the plums and remove the seed (making sure to remove any splinters of pit). Press plums cut side down slightly into batter in a circular patter, edges touching. You want a concentric circle of plums, as many as possible, but don't overlap or add slices in the free space. Thus, the variable number of plums needed.

Sprinkle with lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 tbs sugar. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Now use your nose. If you use a strong cinnamon, like Vietnamese, stop before it overpowers you. If you crave more, add a bit.

Bake one hour. Remove and cool and refrigerate.

Note: the cake swells over the plums and spice to create the aforementioned layer of heaven. Thus, you can't eat this hot until the layers resettle. Make this in the morning to eat in the afternoon or evening. Again, it's even better refrigerated? Refrige any leftovers.




Add a New Comment

tag your recipe!
Your recipe will appear automatically under one of the side menus by adding one or more of these tags:
appetizers breakfast breakfast-eggs desserts desserts-tips desserts-web drinks drinks-hot drinks-summer drinks-wine drinks-na meat-beef meat-pasta meat-pork meat-poultry meat-web salads-green salads-green salads-vegetable salads-bean salads-hearty salads-meat salads-dressings seafood sides-vegetable sides-starchy sides-bean sides-web soups soups-web meatless-beans meatless-pasta meatless-rice meatless-soups meatless-soy meatless-vegetable meatless-web
chinese indian italian korean mexican middle-eastern spanish tips
spring summer fall winter

To edit this wiki, make sure you are signed in and then click "edit" at the bottom of the page.

To create a link to another page, copy and paste this code into the editable window:

[[[page-title| Link Text]]]

If the final link appears in blue, you have correctly established a link.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License