Apples and Honey may be the most celebrated of Rosh Hashanah foods, but plums are also high on the list. Anyone who grew up in a Jewish household is surely familiar with Plum Torte, a standard item for the High Holidays. In fact, I think that every year, or nearly every year, the New York Times publishes a recipe for it.
So, here’s my recipe. And by the way, my niece Rachel once made this cake using pears because plums were not in season anymore.
But this year, in addition to my usual plum torte, I am making Plum Cake. There is an abundance of gorgeous, plump, prune plums (a/k/a President plums) in the market and I couldn’t resist, so I bought several pounds to bake with.
I once wrote about how much I loved my Aunt Beck’s apple cake, a favorite end-of-summer and Jewish holiday treat. So I changed a few ingredients and proportions here and there and made it into plum cake. It not only tastes as good as the apple version, the colors are festive and gorgeous. I think Aunt Beck would like it.
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice (or apple, apricot, mango)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh orange or lemon peel
2 pounds Italian prune plums (or President plums)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into tiny pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, beat the egg, sugar, vegetable oil and orange juice together in a mixer set at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until well mixed. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and citrus peel and mix until a smooth, soft, uniform dough has formed, about 2-3 minutes. Cut the dough into two pieces, one piece twice as large as the other. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface. Fit the larger piece into the bottom and up the sides of an 8”x8” or 9”x9” pan Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the pit. Slice the plums. Place them in a bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon and flour and place the mixture inside the dough. Dot the surface with butter. Roll the smaller piece of dough and place it on top. Press the edges to seal them. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until well browned. Makes 8-12 servings