Elissa sent me this plum torte recipe years ago, and it is a keeper. It is so much of a keeper that the New York Times bowed to reader demand and made its appearance an annual fall tradition for twelve years. The key to this cake is the Italian prune plums that crown it; they are smaller than regular plums and egg-shaped, and are typically available only in September and October.
I saw these beauties at my local market last week and snapped them up immediately. Prior to arriving at the store, I was planning to make a pluot galette for a family birthday celebration, but my plans changed as soon as I spotted the Italian plums. And I have to say, this cake is definitely easier than a galette - no pastry crust to deal with and the chilling and rolling that goes with it. You just mix sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt all together and put the batter in a springform pan. Then you arrange the halved plums over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake. You can easily have this cake in the oven within 20 minutes of starting (though you do need softened butter, which requires a little planning ahead).
As the cake bakes, something magical happens to those plums. They turn jammy and sour-sweet and sink down into the cake batter. The finished product is truly excellent with vanilla ice cream.
Find the full plum torte recipe here.