Last weekend I was over-ambitious in my dessert intentions. I knew I was going to make a rhubarb meringue pie on Saturday, but when I was at the farmers market I couldn’t help but buy some plums and figs, thinking I would turn those into desserts as well by the following weekend when I went to the farmers market again. However, as someone once said, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
The boyf’s unwillingness to eat the rhubarb pie meant I had to eat it all by myself. I was sitting on the couch, having just finished a slice, in post-dessert bliss when I looked at my thighs. They appeared to have grown, and not in the muscular sense. The happy state of bliss came to an abrupt end as I (in a rare show of self restraint) ran to the kitchen and put the remaining third of the pie down the garbage disposal. (sob)
At any rate, the pie lasted longer than intended and I was unable to turn the other fruits into desserts… I ate the figs plain (or with honey), and was terribly worried the plums would all go bad. Luckily, they didn’t and today I was able to try out a plum torte recipe I’d been eying.
Before I get on to the plum torte, I have a brief follow-up to yesterday’s cheese splurge. Last night I dreamed that I got home with all the cheese we’d just bought and for some reason I opened up the freezer. Upon glancing inside the freezer, I discovered we already had all the cheeses we’d just bought. I must be feeling more guilty about spending $40 on cheese than I care to admit. Wow.
Back to the plum torte. I made a torte and then I realized I still had tons of plums left over. So I did what any sensible person would do: I made a second torte. I think I’m going to put it in the freezer for the next time we have company and I don’t have time to make a dessert. Or until I’m craving a dessert and I’m too lazy to make something, which, let’s face it, is more likely.
I would like to point out that I made 2 tortes and one looks significantly better than the other. Torte #1 is pictured at the end of this post and Torte #2 is pictured below. I swear I made them the EXACT same and I really don’t know what happened. I guess this just goes to prove that baking will always be shrouded in mysterious deception. The kind of deception that lulls you in with promises of crispy cookies and perfect pies, and gives you some burnt, scary nonsense.
(Adapted from Splendid Table)
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- Pinch salt
- 24 halves pitted Italian (prune or purple) plums
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or more, to taste
Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and the 3/4 cup of sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt and beat to mix well. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Cover the top with the plums, skin sides down. Mix the cinnamon with the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired.
To serve, let the torte return to room temperature and reheat at 300 degrees until warm, if desired. Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.