Friday, August 25, 2006

Summer Fruit Torte

summer fruit torte

During the dog days of summer, simplicity reigns supreme. And this fruit torte is as simple as it gets. Every year I always seem to forget about this recipe until August rolls around. This buttery, yellow cake is slightly dense, but very tender and moist due to the addition of summer fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and blueberries. I used pluots and apriums today. Both are plum-apricot crosses. The former is more plum than apricot and the latter more apricot than plum.

The fruit can be halved, sliced, or chopped. Peeled or left with the skin on. I prefer to use plums and apricots unpeeled, but I usually peel peaches and nectarines. And even though it’s called a summer fruit torte, I’ve made this during the other seasons with apples, pears, cranberries, and even frozen berries. The next combination I plan on trying is Italian prune plums with figs.

Summer Fruit Torte
(adapted from Marion Burros’ Plum Torte)
makes one 9-inch single-layer cake

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 large plum (or pluot), pitted and chopped
2 apricots (or apriums), pitted and chopped
1 or 2 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven 350 F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is incorporated. Batter will be a bit stiff.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter fruit over the batter. Sprinkle with sugar if using.

Bake cake until golden brown or until the tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes.


Tanna said...

That looks really good - and I always think the ability of change the fruits to what on hand is excellent. I like the look and sound of the texture of this one.

jenjen said...

Mary, this looks and sounds delicious. I love a cake that uses the seasonal fruits. Those cross breeds sound very interesting. I wonder whether I can get my hands on some aorund here.

Dianka said...

Yum this looks so simple and delicious! I have to try it!

Ellie said...

This torte looks divine! I can't say that I've ever heard of these cross-breeds before, but I'd love to track them down! I hope you'll blog the Italian prune plum & fig version for us to drool over :D

Mary said...

Tanna - I love the versatility of this cake too.

Jenjen - I get fascinated with all these fruit hybrids. Must be the biologist in me.

Dianka - I hope you try making it. I always get rave reviews when I bring this cake.

Ellie - Shopping for figs this weekend...

gattina said...

I always love this type of torte, so simple and delicious, forget all about fancy glazing or whipped cream, just give me a cup of coffee, heaven! Plum prune and fig, sound wonderful too!

Ivonne said...


That's a beautiful way to use up summer fruit!

Helene said...

I love recipes like that because they quickly become staples. I love pluots and the torte would be grat with berries too!
Another recipe to add to my growing list!

Abby said...

I haven't seen those crossed fruits around here! I'll have to look harder. Looks great, though, and I love that perhaps frozen berries would work (for winter months.)

Rachel said...

Clever! I love that plum/apricot-ness is achieved without using either fruit!

Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^= said...

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Please send her your photos and story if you wish.

Anonymous said...

I've never had one of those plum/apricot things before. Sounds interesting and I'll be on the lookout for some the next time I'm at the store. The torte looks delicious, perfect for summer.

kellyt said...

Hi. I'm new to your blog (your photography is beautiful and the subjects make my mouth water!) and fairly new to baking (I've done the basic stuff). I've been browsing through your old posts and remember a picture somewhere of all your cookbooks. If you had to pick 3 of your most favorite or most used, which would they be? I'd love to start off with some good basic baking cookbooks with nice pics. Thanks so much!

Mary said...

kGattina, Ivonne, Helene, Abby, Rachel & Natalia - Thanks for the nice comments. I'm enjoying all your blogs too.

Kellyt - My favorite cookbooks can change from day to day depending on my mood. But I'm currently enjoying Donna Hay Modern Classics #2. She gives clear instructions and a photo for every recipe. I think it's a good beginner's book. I also like going to Tons of recipes with feedback from readers who have tried the recipe.