Recipe of the week
When this simple torte recipe was first published in 1983, “it didn’t appear to have the makings of a hit,” said Margaux Laskey in The New York Times. But it has turned out to be the most requested, “and among the most beloved,” in the newspaper’s history. Through 1989, it was reprinted every September, until editors announced they were halting the tradition—and were bombarded by mail. So the recipe lives on, as easy, versatile, and delicious as ever.
The New York Times’ original plum torte
¾ to 1 cup sugar • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted • 1 tsp baking powder • pinch of salt (optional) • 2 eggs • 24 halves pitted purple plums • sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon, for topping
• Heat oven to 350. Cream sugar and butter in a bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and eggs; beat well. Spoon batter into an 8-, 9-, or 10-inch springform pan. Place plum halves skin side up on top of batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
• Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool to lukewarm, then serve plain or with whipped cream. Serves 8.