The base of the torte is a nothing more than a simple butter cake made with only five ingredients. When butter, sugar, eggs, salt, flour and baking powder combine to create incredible scrumptiousness, why mess with perfection. Before making this cake I considered adding some vanilla to the cake batter. However, my instincts said that wasn't such a good idea, at least not with this cake. Trusting my instincts served me and this cake well.
Italian Plum Torte (an ever so slight adaptation to Marian Burros's Plum Torte recipe published in the New York Times)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (recommend Rumford Baking Powder)
Generous pinch of kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
12 small purple Italian Prune Plums, cut in half, pits and stems removed
2 teaspoons or up to 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 - 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Set aside.
4. In a medium sized bowl, cream together one cup of sugar and butter until light and fluffly (approximately 3-4 minutes).
5. Beat in eggs, one at a time until blended.
6. Mix in dry ingredients until combined. Do not over beat.
7. Scrape batter into a 9" springform pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth the top.
8. Press cut plums into the cake batter (skin side up).
9. Sprinkle top of cake with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
10. Squeeze 1-2 teaspoons from a 1/2 lemon over the top of the cake.
11. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden and/or a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Note: My baking time was 58 minutes.
12. Remove from oven, place on rack and allow to cool.
13. Cut into slices.
14. Store torte at room temperature. Be sure to cover any leftovers.
Serving suggestions: Serve as is, sprinkle top with confectionary sugar, and/or serve with some cinnamon ice cream.
Notes: (1) Use a 9" springform pan, it's the perfect size. If your pan is non-stick, even better. (2) Some say you can replace the prune plums with regular plums. I am not so sure. (3) This torte would be perfect for breakfast, brunch, as a lunch dessert, or served as an afternoon indulgence.