plum torte


What do I have in common with a baby?




Impending wisdom is grating against my gums like nutmeg on a microplane.


I thought my sweet tooth would go away six weeks later, but I still need a little sugar in my bowl. Even if that just means applesauce.


Which is for babies.


I can’t sleep and I’m throwing tantrums for stolen plums, which may have already slipped through my fingers.


Summer is over again.


But give this toothsome torte a last chance before you sink into a cold fall or set an appointment with the oral surgeon. It is mercifully sweet without rotting your teeth.


Plum Torte
adapted to be made vegan and sugar-free from Marian Burros (New York Times, 1983)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg plus more for dusting/shaving on top
large pinch of salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (any alternative milk would probably work, I only tried soy and almond)
2 tsp lemon juice (at least)
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
6 tbsp water
between 8-18 plums, depending on the type and size you use (the recipe calls for Italian prune plums, which are delicious, but I liked a variety of purple plums in mine– this recipe would probably work with a myriad of stone fruits)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, soak the flax with the water and set aside for at least 5 minutes. In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Revisit the large bowl and whisk in the applesauce, coconut oil, almond milk, and lemon juice. When well-whisked, slowly stir in the dry ingredients (without over-mixing). Place batter in a 9-inch springform pan (if you own one) or a regular 9-inch round cake pan (if your cupboard is comprised of secondhand bakeware, like mine is). Halve and pit the plums and try your best to arrange them attractively on the cake. Dust with extra nutmeg and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool before eating. This cake tastes even better the next day! 

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