Recipes: 10.19.17

Seasons by the Sea: Fast, Fruity, Foolproof

Plum Torte

Here is the original Marion Burros plum torte recipe. It needs no improvement. A later version reduced the sugar to three-quarters of a cup, because, you know, sugar is now seen as the devil’s scouring powder.

Serves eight.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup flour

Pinch salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

10 to 12 small Italian plums, halved and pitted (use fewer plums if using     larger ones)




Lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350. 

Cream sugar and butter. Add dry ingredients and eggs. Beat well. 

Spoon batter into a nine-inch springform pan. Place plums on batter, skin side up. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove and cool. The torte can be refrigerated or frozen. To reheat frozen torte, first defrost, then reheat in 300-degree oven. 

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


Jason Schwarz’s Olive Oil Cake

Here is original version of the olive oil cake, with my adjustments.

Serves eight.

1 cup very good olive oil (I reduce this to 3/4 cup)

4 large eggs

Zest of one lemon and one orange

7 oz. sugar 

3.5 oz. grams almond flour (I use about 3/4 cup)

50 grams bread crumbs (1.7 oz.)

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch salt (my suggestion)


Mix oil, eggs, and zest. Mix dry ingredients and add to egg and oil mixture. 

Grease an 8, 9, or 10-inch skillet with additional olive oil. Put batter in skillet and place in cold oven. Turn oven to 350 and bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.


Mimi Thorisson’s Everyday Pear Cake

This recipe from Ms. Thorisson’s “French Country Cooking” 

serves six to eight.

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

11/4 cups flour, sifted

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

61/2 Tbsp. butter, melted

4 to 5 ripe medium pears, peeled and diced

Confectioner’s sugar, for serving


Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom of a nine-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk into egg mixture, followed by the vanilla and melted butter. Fold in pears and their juices.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan for a while before unfolding and peeling away parchment paper. 

Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.

Again, I suggest portioning out slices, sprinkling with sugar, and heating briefly.