This simple, versatile recipe makes the most of summer plums. In the fall, consider swapping in apples and adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, replacing the rose water with vanilla and omitting the zest.
This recipe was adapted from Marian Burros’ plum torte, published in the New York Times. I replaced the butter with oil to make it parve and then added rose water and lime zest to complement the plums. The batter is thick but still pourable; a few swipes of a spatula gets it right into the pan. The fruit juices ooze all over and dribble beautiful color throughout the cake. Any type of juicy fruit works. See my accompanying article for other fruit suggestions.
½ cup canola oil, and more for greasing pan
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon rose water (or vanilla)
1 lime for zest
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6–8 small or 4-6 large plums, sliced into wedges (about 2 cups)
Optional: 2–3 tablespoons raw sugar
1) Prep. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or springform.
2) Mix. Mix together the oil, sugar, eggs, rose water, and zest until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and continue to mix by hand until the ingredients just come together (like pancake batter).
3) Arrange. Tip the batter into the prepared pan. The batter is thick, so you’ll need a spatula to scoop it all out and then spread it evenly in the pan. Arrange the plum slices in concentric circles and sprinkle with raw sugar.
4) Bake. Bake the cake for 50–60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Gayle Squires is a food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Her path to the culinary world is paved with tap shoes, a medical degree, business consulting and travel. She has a knack for convincing chefs to give up their secret recipes. Her blog is KosherCamembert