Friday, October 7, 2011

Plum (Italian Prune) Torte

 We are blessed to have 2 Italian Prune trees in our yard.   These dark bluish beauties are definitely one of my favorite fruits.  Our Gravenstein Apple tree had zero apples this year.  I think it we had freezing temps right at blossom time.   
CuddleBunny is behind Go-for-It,
running and leaping for the too-high fruit

The timing must've been better for the prune trees, because they have the best crop I've seen in the 8 years we've owned this property.  
Another idea for reaching
the plums

Prince Go-for-It, Prince CuddleBunny and I had a great time harvesting.

Actually, fruit doesn't usually need a cooking method in our home, as there is so little left after this crowd enjoys it fresh.  One year, though, I made a plum sauce and froze it for eating with stir fry.  It's fun to try something new, and this year it's this dessert.

On such a rainy, fall day, with a warm and wonderful kitchen at our disposal, it felt like good use of our homeschooling time for Princess Artiste and I to do this project together.

Plum Torte

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly butter a 10" springform pan.  (We made 2, so doubled the recipe, but I'm giving you the single torte version.)

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if that type of mixer), cream together
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter

In a separate bowl combine
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (we substituted 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Prince CuddleBunny joined for his share of 'helping,' too
To the butter/sugar, add the flour mixture and
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
and beat well until all mixed.

Spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the springform pan.  Cover the batter with

12 halved and pitted Italian Prunes (24 pieces, placed skin side up)
then sprinkle with
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
and a mixture of
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Bake for 50 - 75 minutes, checking for doneness using the toothpick test.  When an inserted toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and cool.                                                                                                                   

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

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