Lazy Chef’s Fruit Torte

  • Yield 8 to 10 servings

A cake that can highlight the fruits of almost every season is a baker’s best friend, especially one that comes together as quickly as this one.

Ripe with the flavors of seasonal fruit, this is as good with peaches, plums, and blackberries in the summer as it is with pears and cranberries for Thanksgiving. This torte needs only dusting of confectioners’ sugar or lightly whipped cream to warrant its praise, so put your feet up and grab a good book while it bakes!

Ingredients

Cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (plus more for the pan), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose/plain flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch fine sea salt
Topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 -- ripe pear, nectarine, peach or plum, pitted, peeled, and sliced
-- Handful of berries, pitted cherries, cranberries, fresh currants, or quartered figs
-- Confectioners' sugar
-- Sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch springform pan. 
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until fully combined. Stir in vanilla.  
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture and stir to make a thick batter. 
  4. Make the topping: Stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Top the batter with fruit and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. 
  5. Bake until the torte springs back in the middle, is evenly domed, and the top is caramelized and golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. 
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool until easy to handle. Remove the pan sides and let the torte cool further until just warm to the touch. Sprinkle generously with confectioners’/icing sugar. Slice and serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Note: Try these four fruit combinations, one for each season: fall – pear and blackberry; winter – pear and cranberry; summer – peach, fig and blueberry; spring – strawberries
 
Recipe reprinted with permission from Sarah Copeland’s The Newlywed Cookbook: Fresh Ideas and Modern Recipes for Cooking with and for Each Other. Photos by Sara Remmington (Chronicle, 2011).

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