Monday Aug 30th, 2021



As we near the end of August, this recipe highlights one of the many incredible produce currently available in Ontario.  If you haven’t yet stopped by a local farm stand, farmer’s market or grocery store selling Ontario plums, peaches, cherries, melon, tomatoes, or corn, we strongly recommend you add this to your end of summer To-Do List.


This recipe was first published in the New York Times by Marian Burros in 1983 and has become one of their most popular recipes.  It is easy to prepare and gets even better the day after it was baked, making it ideal for entertaining, if not devoured in the interim.  

This torte is ideal with purple prune plums, currently readily available in Ontario, but any plums will work.


  • 1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder 
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus an extra 1 tablespoon 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, or 115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 9-12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice


  • Heat oven to 350°F. 
  • Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
  • In a larger bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy and light in colour - approximately 2-3 min at medium speed. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Spoon batter into a 9-inch springform pan that has been lightly greased with butter. Arrange the plum halves, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice if using, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar. 
  • Bake until the torte is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake (not in a plum) comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack - I leave it in the springform pan to cool. 

Recommendation: If you can wait, leave the baked plum torte covered with a clean towel on the counter, at room temperature overnight, as this cake becomes even better on the second day when the plum juices have released further into the cake.

This cake is delicious served either warm or at room temperature, and we highly recommend enjoying it a la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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