Purple Plum Torte

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plum torteI finally got my hands on some beautiful Italian plums, sometimes called Italian prune plums. I look forward to them each year, but when they become available I know that summer is over, so it’s kind of  bitter sweet. Speaking of sweet, I think it’s about time for a dessert showcasing these beauties!

Italian plums Italian plums are half the size of regular plums and oval shaped. If you were to bite into them you would say they weren’t very juicy but something magical happens when you bake with them, they transform into a sweet/tart jam like consistency, perfect for all your baked goods.

ingredients for plum torte This is an easy to do recipe it has just a few ingredients but the results are fantastic, there’s a reason The New York Times posted it twelve years in a row!  You’ll even be amazed how easy it is to prep those little plums, once you slice into them the pit practically falls out by itself, so everything comes together quickly. Don’t worry if you can’t find the smaller Italian plums that I used, the larger ones would work as well.

purple plum torte In no time you’ll have this not too sweet, moist and buttery cake that has the perfect crumb packed with jammy plum flavored goodness to enjoy.

plum torte Get that coffee going ASAP!

Recipe adapted from Marian Burros, Elegant but Easy, The Essential NY Times cookbook and Smitten Kitchen

Purple Plum Torte
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ to 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 Italian plums, pitted and cut in half ( adjust the amount if using larger plums)
  • sugar and cinnamon for topping
  1. In small bowl, sift first three ingredients.
  2. In larger bowl, cream sugar and butter, until fluffy then add eggs one at a time.
  3. Add flour mixture and beat well.
  4. Spoon the batter into a buttered 9 inch spring form pan.Smooth out the top.
  5. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.
  6. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar and cinnamon, about 1 teaspoon of each.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool before cutting.
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  1. OK that does it! After seeing Stacey’s plum cake, and now your beauty, it’s high time I sought out some of these plums. I love that Marion Burros recipe – I made it for years, passed down from a friend, before realizing it was hers. A real winner.

  2. Great minds think alike, Marie! I was just at Costco this morning, and I snagged a big box of this wonderful fruit. I think some of mine are destined for a crostata. Your buttery cake looks like a dream. I could eat the entire thing. How ever did you mange to shoot it without consuming all of it first? I marvel at your self-control.

  3. I just made a tart with these. I think they are an under-appreciated fruit. I was looking for peaches, but they were not ripe so I bought the plums because they smelled soooo good. Now I need to try your cake recipe. It looks like a perfect cake to round out the meal. Pinning.


  4. What I love about most Italian desserts is that they aren’t overly sweet. I have to monitor what I make so that we can share with our kids who do not live close -by. Entrees are not a problem but we don’t eat desserts – and I’m trying to loose weight so this would be too much of a temptation. But this is on my bucket list to make. The photos are beautiful, Marie

  5. I’ve been seeing Italian plums for sale in Costco! My husband loves them although I usually ind them a little bitter raw, as you said, Marie. I usually make a crostatta with them but this cake sounds delicious!

  6. Adoro queste che tu chiami prugne italiane. Io le chiamo “susine” e le mangio sempre in estate, così al naturale. Ma questa torta sembra davvero deliziosa! Oramai è tardi e le “susine” quelle buone, non si trovano più…ma il prossimo anno la provo.
    Un saluto dall’Italia!

  7. Yum! That’s all I have to say… 🙂

  8. I have been looking for these and I have not found them yet, I could not find any last year either, so sad.