Friday, October 26, 2007

Marian Burros Plum Crumble and Apple Torte

Continuing on the sweet trail. I finally had a bit of time hence I did a spot of baking. Wasn't planned at all but I could not resist after seeing some plums at Tesco Extra. Whenever I see plums, I straight away associate them with the plum torte recipe by Marian Burros, a writer of the New York Times food section. Ever since it was first published in 1981 the recipe has been requested and republished for the next 15 years. I recently discovered this recipe when the New York Times published their latest cookbook - The New York Times Dessert Cookbook. A compilation of their recipes from the paper, they have a variety from Florence Fabricant, Amy Hesser, Nigella Lawson (those ones not in any of her cookbooks), Pichet Ong and etc.

Two recipes she is famous for - the Plum Torte and the Plum Crumble. I've made the Plum Torte before which got rave reviews from my family but this time round, I decided I will make an Apple Torte instead. For the plums, I used them in the crumble. Kinda unlike the crumble we are used to, this version is harder and crunchy like a cobbler. For my version, I omitted the candied ginger since it wasn't something I liked.

I had quite a lot of problems with my Plum Crumble as when I added the full egg in the mixture for the topping, it became so soggy. Moreoever it was insufficient to cover the whole baking tray hence I had to make a double portion. For the second portion, I was more cautious with the egg.

Personally I thought the Plum Crumble was nothing fantastic even though the flavours were not so sweet which was good. What I really absolutely fell in love with was the Apple Torte. So incredibly delicious, we both ate 3 large slices of it warm from the oven with cold ice cream. Simply heavenly - soft cooked apples with light as a feather cake. My only regret is I didn't arrange my apples properly hence it was difficult to cut the cake. That is why you see such a bad looking slice. Believe me, it may look unattractive but it is so utterly delicious. A bonus is this is a very simple recipe.

If you do have time, try and make the torte and you will find yourself a convert. The plum version is also very good as it is not too sweet.

Apple Torte (adapted from Marian Burros Plum Torte)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
Apples (4 to 5) - use Granny Smith which has been cut into halves and skin has been peeled
Sugar and cinnamon for topping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and butter in a bowl. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs, and beat well. Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the apple halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or to taste. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired (but first, double-wrap the tortes in foil, place in a plastic bag, and seal). Or cool to lukewarm, and serve. To serve a torte that has been frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Marian Burros Plum Crumble

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1½ tablespoons plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
12 purple Italian or prune plums, cut in half and pitted
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 well beaten egg
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream, optional.

Heat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in center. Thoroughly mix brown sugar, 1½ tablespoons flour, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground ginger and candied ginger. Add to plums and mix well. Arrange, skin side up, in ungreased, deep 9-inch pie plate. Combine remaining sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Stir in egg. Then, using hands, mix thoroughly to produce little particles. Sprinkle over plums. Drizzle butter evenly over crumb mixture and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Crumble is done when top is browned and plums yield easily when pricked with cake tester. Remove from oven and cool. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to two days or freeze well covered. If reheating, bring to room temperature then warm at 300 degrees. If desired, serve with ice cream.


rokh said...

yummy! send one over please :D

ai wei said...

whoa!!! both are so looking good!~

Precious Pea said...

Oooooooo........looks so delicious!!!!!!!

fatboybakes said...

[clutching heart to prevent arteries clogging]...yah meee.... i want.

~Christine~Leng said...

gosh... delicious it is for sure!

Tummythoz said...

U did 2 desserts at 'a spot of baking'? Wow.

teckiee said...

haik! arigato gosaimasu for the recipe... saved it on on hdd. will try this when (...dunno when still tho) i get to buy my new oven

backStreetGluttons said...

ok needed for unauthorised pimping TQ !

d2e said...

**wipe chin off any unappropriate substance**

hey, there's a german oktoberfest @ 1utama happening 26-28 october. i'm going!!today :) beer @ 1RM

boo_licious said...

rokh - come join us for dinner one day?

ai wei - hope yr flu is better.

precious pea - we ate half of the torte within half and hour as it was so goood.

fbb - hope yrs turned out ok?

d2e - oooh, sounds good. Think this promo will cause big jams at 1U.

christine - the torte is very good. I thought the crumble wasn't too fantastic though probably because I prefer the flaky version.

tummythoz - quite simple recipes. Give it a try one day.

teckiee - what happened to yr oven? I thought ok since u baked apple crumble the other day?

team bsg - hahaha!

jackson - no durian though so cannot fight with yummy durian cheesecake.

teckiee said...

no ler... cacated one. thats y the apple crumble didnt turn out even brown.. patches on the side but center is like under baked

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