Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sophie needed a torte

She's suffering a strange kind of vertigo that the doctor says is probably a result of a head cold she had this past weekend and will resolve in a few days. Still, I'm worried. She swam in a pond on Saturday. What if she a brain-eating amoeba swam up her nose? A couple of years ago at her school, one of her friends dropped on the play ground and died before the next morning of a brain aneurysm. What if it's something like that? And so not only is she home from camp, but I'm home with her, asking every fifteen minutes if the dizziness is better or worse. Her headache: better or worse? Stomach?

Nothing wrong with the stomach or the appetite, so I'm loving her the way I do best: with food.

For lunch, she enjoyed a chicken salad with red grapes and pine nuts and shaved zucchini in tossed in fresh lemon and olive oil.

For an afternoon treat, I piled on some of my favorite blog boys and their plum torte.

Trevor started it. He clipped the original recipe from the the New York Times and adapted it by substituting cardamom for the cinnamon. Then Greg made it, doubling the recipe and adding a brilliant cardamom whipped cream. Greg also included a dissection of the terms cake, gateau, and torte. I call bullshit on his final theory, but it's an entertaining discussion nonetheless.

My contribution is minor: I added vanilla (I couldn't help it) and whisked together the dry ingredients before adding to the creamed butter and sugar. (Ever get a caked bit of baking powder in your bite? Not good.)

The original recipe provides instructions for freezing, defrosting, and reheating. Now tell me why anyone do something like that.

This is a great way to use summer plums and is just about the easiest dessert ever.

Plum Torte

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs

1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of cardamom (just shy of 1/4 teaspoon)

6 ripe plums, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
sugar for topping

Cream sugar and butter.

Whisk in a bowl flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Add to butter mixture, followed by eggs. Beat well. Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.

Bake one hour, approximately. Cool before removing from pan. Serve with whipped sweetened whipped cream (see Greg's recipe for the cardamom version) or vanilla ice cream.
It's not bad for breakfast either. Or so Sophie tells me.


adozeneggs said...

I'm moving to California. The best thing we have right now in VT is tomatoes and zucchini. Not that tomatoes and zucchini are bad, but their not PLUMS, or peaches or any other stone fruit.
Do you have any good recipes for blackberries? I do have a ton of wild ones and I don't want pie.

Kristin said...

Hope Sophie is better soon & that it's not an amoeba (you're such a mom & it makes me feel better about being one...daughter walks into a pole in London, she's going to go the route of Natasha Richardson).

ANFQ said...

Torte is gorgeous and I can't wait to make that chicken salad! YUM. We are plum crazy at my house- completely addicted to my newest creation-- vanilla-spice yellow plum jam! Yesterday, I mixed it up and made another batch with peaches/nectarines/plums. YUMMMM.

Hope Sophie's feeling better today. :(

KatieGirlBlue said...

Well wishes to Miss Sophie.

Great to return to real life and see so many delicious, juicy posts on your blog. I, too, keep radio silence when I'm leaving town, because I think it's a great way for people to know when your house is empty.

Funny, I sort of thought I was alone in that worry. Ah, schadenfreude, you old friend.