Marian Burros’s Plum Torte

October 11, 2019

back to recipes

SHARE ON facebook share link email share link

Marian Burros’s Plum Torte

Recipe from Marian Burros and photo by Andrew Scrivani, The New York Times

Prune plums glow blue-purple and never fail to catch my eye. I bought some recently from Gayle Ice of Ice’s Organic Farm, and ate them fresh. But if I’d wanted to make some sort of confection with them, I’d have turned to Marian Burros’s original plum torte recipe from 1983. Not being an avid baker but only an occasional and lazy one, I look for simplicity in baking, and so I seized on this recipe when it first appeared and have enjoyed it many times since.

Read The New York Times’ article “The Story Behind Our Most Requested Recipe Ever”.

The Recipe


  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 halves pitted purple plums
  • Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into a spring-form pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
  4. Bake 1 hour, approximately.
  5. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream. (To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!