8/19/14

Purple Plum Torte

You guuuuyyyyyyys, of all of the cakes I've made on this site, this one wins the award, hands down, for most surprisingly miraculous. It's just so simple to make, and then it ends up tasting like something you might get at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

But perhaps you know about this miracle cake already? Because according to Deb at Smitten Kitchen, the recipe was "first published in the New York Times by Marian Burros in 1983... and was published every year during plum season between then and 1995." I love this fact for so many reasons, but mostly because I feel like we don't see that kind of repetition in today's popular culture. Like, what if I posted this recipe every year at the end of August or September? You guys would probably be like: Wow, Amelia really let motherhood get the best of her and her brain.
Oh, and one more thing, this cake is even better the second day. In fact, Deb recommends not even slicing into it until day two! Matt and I couldn't do this, as we shared a slice a few hours after pulling it from the oven, but something does happen to it by day two. All those plum juices absorb into the cake, and well, what more can I say? It's a really special cake; there's a reason the NYT ran the recipe for 12 years straight! 
In other news, my mom gets in tomorrow! YAYYYYYY!!!!! 

(The Famous) Purple Plum Torte
From Elegant but Easy and The Essential New York Times Cookbook and Smitten Kitchen

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
Large pinch of salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon
1/2 cup (115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted (obviously, I used 6 larger ones)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat over to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

And remember, once cool, if you can stand it, leave it covered at room temperature overnight as this cake really is even better on the second day. (But don't beat yourself up if you can't wait. We tried a slice on the first day and it was amazing then too.)
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22 comments:

Matthew said...

Way to sneak a pluot in there! Also, I could eat this for dessert every night. xoxo

Christine Thiesen said...

Amelia - I love your blog so much! I have made this cake several times in the past and your post has inspired me to make it again this week. It's great for breakfast along with a cup of coffee. Also - I made your green minestrone soup last week. Another winner :)

Jane C said...

Headed to my Farmers Market TOMORROW!!!!

Sara said...

I've been wanting to make a plum dessert lately. Definitely going to tackle this on the weekend. I have a possibly dumb question. Do you pour more batter on top of the plums? It sort of looks like there is a lot of cake on top of the them in the finished photos. Or is that just the batter around the plums that has risen and ... spread out?

Amelia Morris said...

Dear Sara:

The batter just miraculously rises up around the plums! Enjoy!!

Amelia Morris said...

hahaha me too, I think! I need to make this at least two more times before the season is over.

Natalia said...

Would it be a culinary travesty if I did not bake in a spring pan and opted for a round pan? I am not sure of spring pan status in my house, but I can get one if it really makes that much of a difference to the cake. It looks so good, I can't wait to make one for my family.

Amelia Morris said...

I think a non-spring pan will do fine. You may not be able to lift the slices out of the pan as easily but it should taste just as delicious. Enjoyyyy!!

Jodi Hildebrand said...

This cake was so good!! It did NOT last til the next day. Our slice lasted about 10 minutes on our Kitchen counter.

sg said...

this is exactly what i want to eat on both day one and day two!

Ronda said...

I have 12 Italian plums sitting on my counter...kismet?

Natalia said...

Those were the exact words I was hoping to read. I can deal with ugly slices as long as the cake tastes great ;)

Claire Hungerford said...

i made the gluten free version of this last night and it was incredibly, incredibly good! https://food52.com/recipes/14304-original-plum-torte-from-the-new-york-times-made-gluten-free

Candice Tarnowski said...

The perfect cake ...I made it for a dinner party last night.
Amelia, I love the mottainai tea towel! Where'd you get it?

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Candice! So glad you made the cake! I got the tea towel at one of the sweetest little shops in LA: http://www.newhighmart.com Hopefully you live nearby?

peanutbutterandonion said...

The first time I made this I was floored how awesome it tasted. Great pics

GP said...

Took this cake on our annual Big Sur camping trip. Traveled well and it was a big hit! Do you think I could make it with peaches or nectarines?

Sarah Fennel said...

So I may have made this and it may have been amazing. Also, my sister and I are obsessed with you. And we LOVE Teddy.
http://bromabakery.com/2014/09/purple-plum-torte.html

Stephanie said...

Mom happened to have a bushel of plums at her house and I happened to have had a deep desire to make this. It was a hit at dinner and resulted in my making two more the next day! Definitely great as breakfast the next day!

Don't throw any booze on it like my dad did. Overwhelms the tastes!

Shelley Swanson said...

This is Mary Anne's Mom! I made the plum cake and served it to a group who gave rave reviews. I was delicious!!!

tannaz sassooni said...

made this last night. foolproof and perfect. can't wait to try it again in september when plums are even plummier! also considering a breakfast version with some more whole wheat flour, oats, maybe some nuts, but then i'm like.. is that presumptuous? am i worthy of messing with this perfection? answer is probably no.

Kaitlin M said...

I made this again this year after a coworker saw plums in the grocery store and was like, "Kaitlin, remember that cake you made last summer? Well... It's plum season again... " Huge hit.