Fig Plum Orange Torte is the perfect Fall dessert, made with hearty whole wheat pastry flour and fresh figs, Italian plums and scented with orange zest.
My earliest memory of baking was at the age of 12. We met for church every Sunday at my Auntie Jeanette’s home (my namesake), and following service we always had a potluck lunch. I was in charge of bringing cake each Sunday. I don’t think I ever made any of the cakes from scratch, but I remember taking my responsibility very seriously.
Auntie Jeanette and her husband, Uncle Dick, never had children of their own, but they always opened their home to anyone who needed a place to stay.
Auntie Jeanette was diagnosed with lupus a number of years later, and I remember making a special dinner for her. She could no longer eat anything with salt and was on a restricted diet. So, I scoured my mom’s cookbooks to find something I thought Auntie Jeanette would enjoy. I made Chinese Lemon Chicken. Although I don’t remember exactly how I made this dish, I do remember how much she enjoyed it.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou
Today, I continue to have a yearning to cook for people who are ill and are on special diets. This early experience was just an inkling into what I do today. I have cooked for a number of people who have undergone cancer treatments and suffered side effects that made it difficult for them to eat, my youngest son when he had numerous food allergies/intolerances, my father-in-law who had difficulty eating due to Parkinson’s disease, and a young man in our town who broke his jaw playing softball and was on a soft-food diet.
This month’s Recipe Redux theme is First Cooking Recollections, where we are being challenged to “Stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections. Share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of your first cooking memories.”
What is a Torte?
This Fig Plum Orange Torte might not be what you expect when you hear the word “torte.” I thought tortes were layered cakes. However, I found these two definitions for torte on Dictionary.com:
made with breadcrumbs and
Fig Plum Orange Torte Ingredients
My Fig Plum Orange Torte is more like the second description – a rich cake decorated with fruit. The batter is very basic – flour, sugar, and butter. To make this torte a little healthier, I used whole wheat pastry flour. Orange zest and vanilla scent this simple, but delicious cake.
Fresh fruit is the main attraction in this torte – fresh figs and Italian plums in this case. This recipe is the same base recipe as the one I used for my Raspberry Blueberry Oatmeal Cake, except I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of oat flour, used orange zest instead of lemon,
and topped the batter with a combination of fresh figs and Italian plums. A mixture of cinnamon and sugar is sprinkled on top before baking.
The figs and plums turn jammy, and sink ever so slightly into the cake as it bakes.
This torte recipe has been in my recipe collection for many years, and I’m always tweaking it. It’s very easy to make, so perfect for last minute guests when you need a quick dessert. Any fruit can be used on top.
Give this Fig Plum Orange Torte a try this week and let me know what you think.
Fig Plum Orange Torte Recipe
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic sugar divided
- ½ cup organic unsalted butter softened
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup fresh figs halved (I used 7 figs)
- 1 cup fresh Italian plums pitted, halved (I used 6 Italian plums)
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- confectioner's sugar optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, salt eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix well. Spread batter in greased 10" tart pan.
Arrange fig and plum halves on top.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over fruit, followed by orange juice.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if desired. Serve warm.