This recipe uses only a few ingredients, and has such an amazing story behind it, that when I came across it I really couldn’t walk away from it. The sweet, tarte plums leak their juices into the buttery moist cake, creating an incredible jammy plummy custardy consistency at the bottom, and the top of the cake is a little bit crisp and a little bit chewy. The taste is so comforting, and delicious, that it became one of my all-time-favorites immediately. It’s one of the simplest cakes you can make, and it’s something everyone MUST try.
Here’s the heart-warming story behind this recipe :)
“The Times published Marian Burros’s recipe for Plum Torte every September from 1983 until 1989, when the editors determined that enough was enough. The recipe was to be printed for the last time that year. “To counter anticipated protests,” Ms. Burros wrote a few years later, “the recipe was printed in larger type than usual with a broken-line border around it to encourage clipping.” It didn’t help. The paper was flooded with angry letters. “The appearance of the recipe, like the torte itself, is bittersweet,” wrote a reader in Tarrytown, N.Y. “Summer is leaving, fall is coming. That’s what your annual recipe is all about. Don’t be grumpy about it.” We are not! And we pledge that every year, as summer gives way to fall, we will make sure that the recipe is easily available to one and all. The original 1983 recipe called for 1 cup sugar; the 1989 version reduced that to 3/4 cup. We give both options below.” (I use 3/4th cup.)
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The Famous NY Times Plum Torte Recipe
- White Sugar – 150 grams | 3/4 cup
- Unsalted butter softened – 115 grams | 1/2 cup
- All-purpose flour sifted – 60 grams | 1/2 cup
- Almond flour sifted – 48 grams | 1/2 cup
- Baking Powder – 4 grams | 1 teaspoon
- Pinch of salt optional, but I always include it in my desserts
- 2 eggs
- 8-10 purple plums halved and pitted
- For Topping – 2 tbsp sugar 1 whole lemon juice, and 1 tsp cinnamon
- Heat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
- Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl for a few minutes. Add the flours, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well till just incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place (don’t push) the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove and cool to lukewarm and serve. You can serve it with whipped cream, but I really love this cake just plain, in all its simple glory.
Recipe adapted from NYT Cooking.