weeknight plum torte

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Sundays are typically our grocery days – over the weekend we might pick up produce at the market or we do a clean out of the refrigerator to assess the leftover ingredient situation. We work on a menu for the week, and then pick everything up on Sunday afternoon. I’m pretty focused when I go to the grocery store – I try to like this part of my day, but I really don’t. I like to get in and out quickly, and I sort of race myself towards an imaginary goal each time. I don’t mind browsing over fresh produce at an outdoor market, but the thought of roaming the endless aisles at a grocery store looking for inspiration doesn’t work for me. I like to have a plan and move on.

I’ve found that sticking to my grocery list works for me. I put blinders on, and I ignore sales and impulse buys and packaged foods as much as possible. It keeps the grocery bill down and the pantry under control. The one area I bend this rule in is produce – I always keep my eyes open for fruits and vegetables on sale / in abundance, and when I see something I put in the cart. I do this a lot with berries which can be so expensive to buy. When the market gets a huge shipment of raspberries and puts them out in crates of $1 packages I know that they are perfect and ripe and aren’t going to last long (hence the price). I buy them up and incorporate them into meals and snacks and drinks and desserts.

Last week I saw the huge pile of Italian prune plums just behind the peaches and I knew that it was plum torte time. This recipe has been around for decades, and chances are you already make it every early fall. In case you’ve missed it, I’m linking to the recipe here so you can correct the error of your ways.

Here are my comments on the recipe – I don’t grease the pan because I have an excellent, non-stick springform pan that gives me no issue with this recipe. I use unsalted butter (as it lists in the recipe), and I do include a pinch of salt. For the topping, I sprinkle lemon juice from a half a lemon, then three generous pinches of sugar across the top. I dust the top with cinnamon (just under a teaspoon), and then one more pinch of sugar for good measure. 55 minutes at 350 seems to do the trick for me, test with a toothpick. The plums sink into the center of the cake and are delicious when warmed slightly, and even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

This recipe comes together in under ten minutes, put the cake in the oven, put the kids to bed, and then cut a few warm slices for the adults. A perfect dessert that won’t keep you wide awake for hours – just sweet enough to end the day on.

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Or make a few extra to share! Happy First Day of School!!

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