Tuesday 22 March 2016

Marion Burros's Classic Plum torte

This torte is a legend in itself. First published in the New York Times by Marian Burros in 1983, the recipe was so popular that it was published every year during plum season for nearly two decades. years. The following year when the readers were informed that they would no longer be publishing the recipe and they save their clippings of the recipe there was a big uproar. Understandably!! Make this recipe and you will know exactly why!!
This recipe is a definite keeper and the best part with just a handful of ingredients it is so so simple to make. Though it is just a straightforward batter of flour, butter, sugar, eggs and the divine sweet and sour plums, it is perfect in every aspect.
The end result is a light buttery cake with fresh plums inside which when baked release their juices inside and become all soft and gooey make it incredibly moist and irresistibly delicious combination of sweetness and tanginess all in one bite!!
To make sure the recipe wasn't just a one time fluke I tried it out again (pic below) some time later following the recipe to the 'T' and I wasn't surprised that it turned out as wonderful as it had the first time. 
If you can resist, though I know it would be very hard to, wait a day before you eat the torte. Upon resting, the plums release their juices and merge with the cake around it - kind of like a cake with its own sauce. And when you thought it couldn't get any better - here is another great thing about this decadent dessert - it freezes beautifully!! So you can do a couple of batches when the plums are in season and pop them in your freezer to enjoy later on. To freeze, double wrap the tortes in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal.
Try it out and I am sure you will fall in love with this delicious dessert just like I have!!

Recipe adapted from The New York Times
Serves 8
Prep time:10 min           Cook time:50 min

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter 
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
24 halves pitted purple plums 
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon 
sugar and lemon juice for sprinkling on top
Heat oven to 350 F.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
Slowly add the flour, baking powder,salt and eggs and beat well.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well till combined.
Pour the batter into a 8, 9 or 10 inch springform pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Place the plums skin side up atop the batter, nearly covering it.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
Sprinkle with cinnamon on top.
Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove and cool: Refrigerate for a day if possible if you plan to serve it the next day. Otherwise just dig in and enjoy it lukewarm!!
To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.


  1. Thank you for this delicious recipe . I made this cake several times ,each time it turn out great?

  2. Recipe calls for 24 half plums but cake only uses eight. 🤷

  3. Made the cake. Perfect. Lovely recipe and easy too.