There are plum cakes other than the plum cake.
Yes, the New York Times published ... yet again ... the plum torte recipe. It's divine. If you haven't ever made it, it's spectacularly easy and absolutely perfect. Tender, buttery, sweetly spicy, laced with tart plum bombs.
But right around the time that plums were coming in, my friend Erika posted a peach/blackberry cake on Instagram:
I was intrigued by the reference to Plum Tart and Roden, so I asked and sure enough, it's a Claudia Roden recipe for a plum tart, even though Erika used peaches and blackberries.
At first glance, the recipes seem similar - a dough with some fruit on top. But the Roden version was different enough that I needed to try it - and it turns out to be more like cookie/pastry/cake under the plums, not sweet tender airy cake.
It is delightful! And even if you are committed to THE plum torte, it's worth trying this one.
Besides, who doesn't love a recipe header that says "It is very simple and easy to make, with pure fresh flavors and a marvelous biscuity base. You must try it. We all love it."
Swetschkenkuchen / Plum Tart
Adapted from Claudia Roden's The Book Of Jewish Food
2/3 cup (125 g) sugar (divided)
1 1/4 cups (175 g) flour
1/2 t. baking powder
3 oz (75 g) cold butter
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Mirabelle eau de vie (or brandy)
1 1/2 pounds (750 g) Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Mix half of the sugar with the flour and baking powder.
Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub into the flour and sugar mixture.
Stir in the egg and Mirabelle and mix with your hands until it forms a dough.
If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour.
Press the dough into the bottom of a round 9" tart pan - and up the sides a bit - make a 1/4" lip if you can (you don't need to go all the way to the top).
Arrange the fruit, cut side up and tightly packed, on top of the pastry. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the plums.
Bake at 375° F for about 50 minutes or until crust turns golden brown and the plums are soft and juicy.
Serve hot or warm or cold, sprinkled with confectioners sugar. Whipped cream would not be amiss.