An 'original plum torte'

The past few months, more than ever, we eat in more than we eat out.  If I reflect, it has probably taken me up until my 30th year to learn to slow down (and I still have a lot more learning to do). Furthermore, it’s probably taken having a child to really stop trying to do too much and enjoy long days at home. This change of pace, which I've discussed here and here, along with more time spent in our home has meant that we are exploring and growing our time spent on personal interests and hobbies - such as baking, sewing, constructing, writing - the list goes on.

Last week we got a kg of fresh plums at our local market. I spent a morning scouring our cookbooks and my favourite online sites until I stumbled across an ‘Original plum torte’on the N.Y. Times. Not only did it look delicious, but the recipe sounded simple and came with a backstory, and I’m a sucker for a backstory.

The simple ‘original plum torte’ was written by Marian Burros and published in The Times every September from 1983 until 1989 when the paper decided 'enough was enough' - an unpopular decision by all accounts. I love the ritual of this, and the way it would highlight time passing and the beginning of Plum Season in America. Thankfully with the accessibility that the internet allows, the recipe is now widely available for whenever plums are in season wherever you are in the world.

The recipe is so simple, adaptable and the perfect way to use any seasonal fruit you can get your hands on.  We ate ours over a Sunday lunch with double cream and filter coffee.


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 halves pitted purple plums
  •  Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping


  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into a springform pan of roughly 22cm. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
  4. Bake 50 minutes, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with cream.


Recipe sourced from The NY Times Cooking