I’ve had this Plum Torte on my mind for a while now. I first saw it in my NYT recipe app, which I use to find inspiration for both what to cook for me and Simon, and what recipes to create with a zenbelly spin.
And finally, we have this lovely plum torte; with a zenbelly spin.
Before we get to the actual recipe, let’s talk about exactly what having a zenbelly spin means, since it has changed a bit over the years. This has upset some people, and to be blunt: that’s not my problem.
That may sound harsh, but here’s the thing: it’s been over 10 years since I’ve been creating recipes to share, and I can’t think of many things that haven’t changed in 10 years. Can you?
When I started writing recipes for this blog, I was “mostly paleo”; I ate almost completely paleo at home, and loosened the reigns a bit when I went out to eat or someone else was cooking for me. I stuck to 100% gluten-free always. The recipes I wrote reflected how I ate at home.
I went years before I published a recipe with gluten-free pasta on this site, and recipes containing dairy were few and far between. Plus, the dairy called for was usually optional and/or could be swapped for a dairy-free option.
For the most part, that is still the general idea of what you’ll find here. I’ve also started baking with (gasp) cane sugar again on occasion (not this recipe, before you bounce), and I’ve been eating more gluten-free pasta than I used to. I don’t restrict dairy because I don’t have to. And I don’t have to be strict about avoiding gluten anymore, which I have to say is liberating; going out to eat is a lot more enjoyable and relaxing. I haven’t gone so far as cooking with gluten, and will keep this site gluten-free.
Why the change?
A decade ago, restricting my diet the way I did worked for me. It doesn’t really work for me now.
The way I eat has adapted along with my relationship with food, and the recipes I write have adapted along with that relationship. The good news (for those of you who consider this bad news) is that all of the recipes I created before are still here on this site. And there are still 3 cookbooks available for purchase that are full of paleo recpes. So even if there’s a recipe with cane sugar or rice pasta here and there on this blog, you don’t have any less of anything.
The other thing that no longer works for me is attaching morals to food, which I inadvertently did for a long time.
I am aware that some people have to restrict the way they eat because of allergies. Some people have to restrict the way they eat because they are battling illness, and diet helps them manage it. That’s one thing, and it’s not the thing that bothers me.
The thing that bothers me is the orthorexia that is rampant, in part, because of the “wellness” industry. I’ll take responsibility for my part. I’ve used the word clean when talking about the type of food I ate and cooked. Calling food clean implies that other food is dirty, and in some cases, those “dirty foods” literally keep civilizations alive. That right there is the epitome of privilege and it’s not the message I want to be sharing.
I love that people are paying attention to what they put in their bodies, on their bodies, and around their bodies. We know it all has an effect on our health and the environment. If we eat something and it makes us feel like shit, it’s a great idea to not eat that thing. That’s intuitive eating, guided by us paying the eff attention. If we are terrified of tomatoes or paprika just because they’re nightshades, that’s not healthy.
Like Tanya Mark, (who I just discovered via this quote and already love for it) says: “You know what’s healthier than kale? Having a good relationship with food!” HEAR, HEAR.
If you’re still here, thanks for reading. Without further ado: Plum Torte, with a Zenbelly Spin
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 slices
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: French
The perfect Late Summer / Fall Dessert (or breakfast, I'm not judging)
- 6–7 fresh plums, (halved and pitted)
- 3/4 cup softened butter or ghee, (plus more for greasing the pan)
- 3 eggs, (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar + 1 teaspoon, (divided)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch), (plus more for flouring the pan)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
- Cream the butter and 3/4 cup coconut sugar with an electric beater until lighter in color and blended.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Add the almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and salt. Beat until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and top with the plum halves, skin side up. Gently push the plums into the batter, but not too much. The batter will rise up around the plums as it bakes.
- Combine the teaspoon coconut sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of the torte.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit before removing from the pan. Serve warm (especially with ice cream), room temperature, or cold.
- Store in the fridge if you don’t eat it all the day you make it.
*If you didn’t take your eggs out to get to room temp, you can place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes. They’ll warm right up!
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Would it work ok with sliced fresh peaches?
Nope. Did not work as the recipe is written. The peaches were too juicy.
sorry to hear that Jeanette. Sliced fruit will release more juice and cook down more than halved fruit, so that could be part of the problem.
I figure that is what happened. It was ugly, but delicious
I’m glad it was still delicious!
This looks amazing! My grandma used to can/jar plums and they were my favorite thing to choose from the canning cellar. This torte brings back wonderful memories!
aw I have fond memories of my grandma’s jarred fruit too. Grandmas <3
Donna in Inwood says
Snargle, rrulf, nombletarg…excuse me while I slather my face in plum torte!
I am literally having my second slice now. I’m not an ice cream girl so I’m waiting for my can of full-fat coconut milk to chill in the fridge, for the coconut cream to go on top. But honestly, it’s good without it.
I will just add that I used big Italian plums because there are no regular summer plums available now in my part of the world, and the Italian plums were fine. I peeled them first because the peel looked kinda thick and I was afraid they would not be delightful to bite into.
Also, I think it’s wonderful that you adapted this from a NYTimes recipe, and I would be delighted if you did a whole book of paleo adaptations from NYTimes recipes. I often see things in the Times that look scrumptious that I cannot figure out how to make paleo. Maybe Melissa Clark would partner up with you?
As for the rant, it went over my head. I eat paleo because I have to, due to health issues. I can’t imagine someone restricting their diet unless they had to, but there are all sorts of things in this world that I don’t get. 😉 Cheers.
Glad you love it, Donna! And I’d love nothing more than to be on the NYT Cooking payroll. Dream job! I’m always looking to them for inspiration so there will be more paleo adaptations of their recipes to come. I just won’t get paid for it 😉
It looks sooo delicious. No doubt it’s really tasty. And it’s healthy and not very challenging to cook. That’s what’s really important! I will make it this weekend for my in-laws. Sure they’ll love it! Thank you very much for this recipe!
Thanks, Anna! I hope you and the in-laws love it!
This recipe is freaking delish bomb! Thank you so much. I just made it with the plums from my neighbors tree.
lucky to have those neighbors! I’m glad you loved the torte!
This sounds amazing. Is there anything else I could replace the arrowroot starch with besides tapioca starch?
I have no idea. Tapioca and arrowroot are the two things that I know are generally interchangeable.
I am so excited to make this with the plums we picked from our trees! Do you think we could sub cassava flour or GF baking flour for the almond flour?
You could try, but all flours work quite differently so I can’t say how it will turn out.
Yeah, that makes sense. I’m gonna for it. I’ll let you know how it turns out! Thx.
Thank you for this post. Not only because of the yummy recipe (will try when back from my trip) but also because of your healthy approach to food and your right to chose what you are putting on your plate. I was strict paleo 2013-2018 and like you I started introducing some gluten-free pasta (couldn’t see zoodles anymore) :D. Omg! The people who would laugh about my paleo in the past suddenly started pointing out: but that’s not paleo. Wtf?!!? Only I have the right to chose my foods, not my environment. I don’t have gluten intolerance, I eat my butter with my scrambled eggs… but it is MY choice I can only repeat what you wrote: “Like Tanya Mark, (who I just discovered via this quote and already love for it) says: “You know what’s healthier than kale? Having a good relationship with food!” HEAR, HEAR. “
Esther Center says
This was SO delicious. Perfect ratio of cake to gooey fruit!
Loved the recipe. So simple. How many calories per slice if cut into 8 slices?
I have no idea, I don’t calculate calories but you could find out if you put it into whatever calorie tracker you use.
I am new to your site and was gifted some almond and coconut flour from a friend who moved. Would this totally bomb without the arrowroot/tapioca starch? Could I use half AP flour instead if I don’t actually have dietary restrictions, I’m just trying to use up some plums from my CSA and almond flour?
I appreciate your willingness to learn in public and share your process :-).
You should be able to use AP flour instead of the tapioca starch, I would use about 2/3 of what the recipe calls for to start, since it might be more absorbent than the starch. Please report back and let us know how it turns out if you make those subs!