11 September 2010

Plum Torte

I've had plums, plums and more plums for the past four weeks, and though I'd been happy to consume most of them fresh, juicy and nicely portable as they are, this little cake and its almondy filling caught my attention. The almond flavor is subtle and nicely highlights the little ruby plums I had on hand.
 The cake is simplicity itself and makes an easy weekday cake on even the most rushed of evenings. The original recipe called for Italian plums, but the tiny sweet and juicy plums I had in my possession seemed a strong substitute. 
The cake itself is fun to make as there is no messing it up or stress at all about anything not rising or falling or the cake turning out dry or undercooked. All that is required is a quick combining of sugar and almond, beating of eggs and drawing the two together in a tart or spring form cake pan. You can spend the rest of your prep time dotting the filling with juicy plum halves in a satisfying pattern.

Plum Torte
The recipe was adapted from Serious Eats, which I found when I went googling for an easy plum cake recipe. I was excited to see it was taken from a cookbook I've eyed on more than a few occasions A Platter of Figs, by David Tanis, and now have extra incentive to actually purchase. 

Ingredients

3/4 cup finely ground almonds (or almond flour)
1/2 cup sugar, plus about 1/4 cup for topping
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons sweet butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 pounds plums, pitted and either halved or thickly sliced depending on size

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 10-inch tart pan or spring form pan. Put the almond flour and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl and combine with whisk. Add the flour and salt, and whisk further.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, then stir in the melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the almond-flour mix, and whisk for a minute or two until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the plums on top on a circular pattern and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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