Famous Plum Torte

Famous Plum Torte

This simple and elegant cake is no ordinary cake. This is a famous recipe that was first published by the New York Times in 1983 and then again and again for multiple years in a row.

This is one of those recipes that you can memorize almost immediately and contains just a few very simple and humble ingredients. It really allows the star ingredient – plums, to shine through.

Every time I make this cake, I wonder if I should double the amount of the batter, then, after it finishes baking – I realize that “no, no I should not change anything about this iconic recipe.” The proportion of fruit to batter is so perfect that every single bite is so juicy and so moist. Don’t change a thing – this recipe is perfect as is.

I just said not to change a thing, but I did add some peach to the cake. I think peach and plum go so well together and the combination tastes and looks amazing. I also added a bit more salt than called for and made a few changes to the techniques (no need to dirty another bowl to mix your dry ingredients in, the technique used in my recipe is simpler and works perfectly!)

Yields4 Servings

 ¾ cup sugar
 ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
 1 tsp baking powder
 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 2 eggs, large, at room temp
 1 cup flour
For topping the cake:
 12 small purple plums, halved and pitted (you can replace some of the plums with peach chunks)
 1 tsp cinnamon
 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
 2 tbsp sugar

1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

2

In a bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter, sugar, salt and baking powder on high speed until light and fluffy, be sure to stop the mixer and scrape up the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until smooth.

Stop the mixer and sift all of the flour into the bowl. Mix on low speed until the batter is just incorporated, not any longer. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan.

3

Arrange the plums (and peaches, if using) skin side up over the cake. Sprinkle the cake with cinnamon, lemon juice and 2 TBSP sugar.

4

Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (mine was ready right at 40 minutes) until the toothpick comes out clean. The internal temperature should be around 204-206° (with a digital thermometer inserted into the middle of the cake, avoiding touching the bottom of the pan.) Just be sure to avoid 212°F and beyond, since that's the temperature that water turns to steam, which means you'll start losing precious moisture fast.

Cool before serving.

Notes:
5

This cake tastes even better the next day.

It will seem like there is very little batter. But the cake will rise as it bakes and the proportion of batter to fruit is simply perfect.

Do not grease the pan, this will prevent the cake from rising properly.

Ingredients

 ¾ cup sugar
 ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
 1 tsp baking powder
 ¼ tsp kosher salt (half as much if using fine table salt)
 2 eggs, large, at room temp
 1 cup flour
For topping the cake:
 12 small purple plums, halved and pitted (you can replace some of the plums with peach chunks)
 1 tsp cinnamon
 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
 2 tbsp sugar

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

2

In a bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter, sugar, salt and baking powder on high speed until light and fluffy, be sure to stop the mixer and scrape up the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until smooth.

Stop the mixer and sift all of the flour into the bowl. Mix on low speed until the batter is just incorporated, not any longer. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan.

3

Arrange the plums (and peaches, if using) skin side up over the cake. Sprinkle the cake with cinnamon, lemon juice and 2 TBSP sugar.

4

Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (mine was ready right at 40 minutes) until the toothpick comes out clean. The internal temperature should be around 204-206° (with a digital thermometer inserted into the middle of the cake, avoiding touching the bottom of the pan.) Just be sure to avoid 212°F and beyond, since that's the temperature that water turns to steam, which means you'll start losing precious moisture fast.

Cool before serving.

Notes:
5

This cake tastes even better the next day.

It will seem like there is very little batter. But the cake will rise as it bakes and the proportion of batter to fruit is simply perfect.

Do not grease the pan, this will prevent the cake from rising properly.

Plum Torte
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