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summer torte

jojoco
13 years ago








This is, without question, one of my all time favorite recipes. It is also one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. It originally was printed in the New York Times on Labor Day, in 1981. For many years it would run on that same day and always heralded the end of summer. One year, in the '90's, the recipe was accompanied by a plea from the NYT to clip and save as it would not be run again in the paper. Thank goodness for the internet. It is not too sweet and freezes beautifully.

Summer Torte by Marion Burros

1 stick butter, softened (I always use unsalted)

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour; sifted

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

pinch of salt

fruit of choice; sliced into wedges (I used about 7 plums. Peaches, nectarines,strawberries all work great and in combination)

cinnamon sugar for top

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and add sugar. Beat well. Add eggs and beat. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter. Mix. Spoon globs to greased 9 or 10 inch springform. Use a knife to spread batter to cover entire pan. Arrange fruit on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (amount depends on the sweetness of the fruit).

Bake for 45 min.

Comments (150)

  • Rusty
    13 years ago

    I've made it a few times now, too. So far have only used 'summer' fruit, no berries. Personally don't like cooked strawberries, but they make a pretty torte, don't they!

    Cinnamon is probably my all time favorite spice, so IMHO, it 'goes with' everything. Now I'm looking forward to trying it with Cardamom. Also was thinking about adding some nuts, then read where some of you did.

    As Linda C says, the possibilities are endless. Limited only by the imagination and taste buds.

    Thank you from me, too jojoco, for giving us this recipe.

    Rusty

  • punamytsike
    13 years ago

    I have made this couple of times now. My change to the recipe has been, instead of butter, I use 4 oz of Country Crock spread. I count calories, and this substitution lowers the calorie count quit a bit. As the spread is salty, I do not add any additional salt either. I have used it with apples and pineapples, both have come out great tasting, I have one little slice and my guys eat the rest very fast :)

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  • caflowerluver
    13 years ago

    Anyone ever make it with rhubarb? I was thinking of using stewed rhubarb mixed with strawberries, not just freshly cut rhubarb? Or would fresh cut be better?
    Clare

  • annie1992
    13 years ago

    Clare, I think freshly cut and unsweetened rhubarb would be too tart for anyone other than the most diehard rhubarb fans, I'd go for the stewed mixture.

    It sounds yummy, I love rhubarb, now that's on my "to try" list.....

    Annie

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    13 years ago

    Well, I guess I'm the lone dissenter here because I thought this was just ok although I really thought I would love it. I made it tonight with fresh peeled peaches and in a tart pan w/removable bottom and exactly as the recipe stated although I did add some vanilla and did use the cinnamon and sugar on top. To me, it's just a butter cake with some fruit.
    I prefer the caramely taste of fruit crisps more and I like a sweeter dessert and perhaps more complex flavors though I do see the possibilities in the recipe.

  • pump_toad
    13 years ago

    I made mine with fresh raspberries and blueberries and it was wonderful. Has anyone tried it with just blueberries?
    Annie..... I baked it in a old release cake pan and it worked great. Can't figure out why they are not sold anymore. At least I haven't seen any.
    Lois

  • maureen_me
    13 years ago

    You can still buy those cake pans with the release bar, Lois--you just have to look a little harder. They have them at Fantes (link below--scroll about three-quarters of the way down the page and you'll see it) and on eBay. I'm sure Wilton must sell them, too. This cake is so buttery, though, that it tends to grease its own pan. I made it in a blackened tin tart pan, and it slid out with no trouble at all.

    Here is a link that might be useful: cake pan with cutter bar

  • pump_toad
    13 years ago

    Thanks for the information on the Fantes website. I had no idea they were still available,
    Lois

  • Solsthumper
    13 years ago

    Killer-looking tortes.

    Marian Burros' recipe is one I've had, but never tried because it just sounded too simple to be good Âknow what I mean?
    But your spectacular pictures and results have changed my mind.

    Btw, Marian's recipe was originally made using 12 Italian prune plums, halved.

    And now that Italian prune plums have made their debut in MI., I'm going to join you all in a baking jamboree. Thanks Jo.

    Sol

  • althetrainer
    13 years ago

    Oh man! You guys are making me hungry. I have just finished eating lunch! Great pictures and they all look so yummy!

  • natesgramma
    13 years ago

    I can't help but laugh at myself this morning. I'm such a dough-head. Several days ago I made one that flopped. I made it in a tin torte pan, luckily I decided to put a cookie sheet under it because in 25 minutes it was overflowing and almost brown. I had a few bites but threw it out. I've reread the messages and decided to try again. This time I thought I better use the springform pan in case it was going to overflow again.

    So I started the recipe, had the peaches already cut, so I wouldn't have to let everything sit out (thanks Linda) and when I got to the baking soda amount...I realized it says baking "powder". DUH! So I'm hoping that was my only mistake. Here are pics of what just went in the oven. My dough doesn't look quite as stiff as Joan's but my eggs were large, maybe the difference.
    {{gwi:1535625}}
    {{gwi:1535626}}
    I'll post pics if this is a success.

  • natesgramma
    13 years ago

    TA DA!!! Slightly excited, DH will be too. Thanks for the great recipe, the messages, and pics.
    {{gwi:1535627}}
    {{gwi:1535628}}

  • magic_arizona
    13 years ago

    Very Pretty Natesgramma.

    So, the ones who used Pineapple didn't like it?

    Has anyone actually done a strawberry/rhubarb yet?

  • punamytsike
    13 years ago

    I love it with pineapple, although I have yet to make one with only pineapple. Last night I used one apple and 1/4 of pineapple. Cut them to small chunks and mixed into the patter. Then bored it to the pan and baked. My DH liked this method result more, said it was more moist than the previous versions, where I laid the fruit on top.

  • loves2cook4six
    13 years ago

    Raspberry Chocolate - yummmmmm! Took to a party last night and it vanished while I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water from the fridge.

  • dgkritch
    13 years ago

    Anybody try a savory one?
    Seems like you could omit the sugar (add some parmesean cheese), top with garlic slices, mushrooms, peppers, and Walla Walla onion rings!! (can ya tell I'm harvesting those now??!?!? I've got about 20 lbs. sitting on the counter right now, probably 5-6 lbs. already chopped and frozen and more still in the ground).

    So, d'ya think it would be good as a savory dish?
    Any other changes you'd suggest?

    Deanna

  • magic_arizona
    13 years ago

    How about tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella,garlic. Yum.

  • Fori
    13 years ago

    Deanna, as soon as I tried it I was thinking it would be good as something breakfasty, like with bacon or sausage and cheese. But onions. Yes

    So, yes, I tried it too. It's good! And if you don't have a kitchen, it cooks up just fine in a pie dish and toaster oven. One should avoid reading about baking when one's kitchen is being remodeled, but this looked doable.

  • dgkritch
    13 years ago

    Thanks, fori.
    Did you omit the sugar or leave it in?

    I'll have to try it I guess! Hoping it cools down here so I can cook again. I am getting awfully tired of sandwiches and "cold food" dinners.

    A co-worker will be sharing figs soon. I'm thinking that would be really good too, maybe drizzled with a little honey before baking. Mmmm.

    Deanna

  • Fori
    13 years ago

    Ohh no no. I was being very unclear! In fact I was downright misleading. I did not write what I thought I wrote! :O
    oops!

    I meant I tried it as written (mostly) and THEN I thought it would be good savory. So I was just thinking on the same lines as you but didn't actually get it done! So you get to try it first and let me know. (But a toaster oven won't heat up the house too much.)

    Now, if I actually pay attention to my message preview maybe I can actually make sense, somewhat...

  • kathleenca
    13 years ago

    jojoco, I think we need to crown you Queen of the Fruit Torte!! How many comments, 120+?

    You are the queen! Thanks so much from all of us. :)

  • jojoco
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    It is my turn to thank all of you. When I posted this recipe, I decided not to specify "italian plums" (as per the recipe), because I wanted to make it as versatile as possible. I am so glad I did that because you all have amazed me with your endless creativity. And now savory!!! I am so glad everyone liked it. I will never make it again without thinking of all of you and smiling.

    Jo

  • jessyf
    13 years ago

    And now for a cyber vocabulary phrase lesson - everyone say 'Epic Fail!'

    - in sprayed, non-stick muffin cups - couldn't possibly stick, says she....welll......they stuck! But they were good! sorry out of focus. My bad.

  • maggie2094
    13 years ago

    OH, yes Sol, yes Italian prune plums just as I thought...we foodies we can handle the EYEtalian ones. I would imagine it would be more jammy like Annies. Annie u jammin.

    I'm in with peaches and plums but it only took like 2 pieces of fruit - lol. Mine is a big more caramelized? I guess too much brown sugar and I didn't get the cool effect...but still pretty and smells delightful. Will be enjoying later on the back deck with a glass of recession red (crossing my fingers by myself - lol).


    Thanks for posting, Jo!

  • maggie2094
    13 years ago

    ...and I meant to add an aaawwwwww, Jesse.

  • gardenguru1950
    13 years ago

    When was the last time a single recipe was followed by so many posts?

    I've copied and pasted this one.

    Joe

  • loves2cook4six
    13 years ago

    Jessy, I see muffin liners in your future LOL

    Just took one out the oven made with Crisco and lemonzest f or flavoring, fruit is blueberries and nectarines. We're invited out for dinner and our hosts keep kosher so it needed to be dairy free.

    Will let you know how it tastes later.

  • loves2cook4six
    13 years ago

    Well, it was actually quite good. Everyone else loved it but the butter flavor was definitely missing. The lemon made up for it though

  • sally2_gw
    13 years ago

    Jesse, I think it's a good idea to make it in muffin pans. That would be a good way to make little individual servings.

    I also have been thinking about how to make it savory, since I've been trying to figure out what to do with all my tomatoes. In baking, sugar is considered a liquid, so should a liquid something or other be subbed for the sugar if making it a savory torte?

    Sally

  • shaun
    13 years ago

    Hahah! I know my pineapple torte picture was funny looking! When I peeked thru the oven window and saw that dough coming up through the holes, I laughed too! Looks like little boobies! hahah!! A Boobie Torte.

    The pineapple was good but there wasn't enough of it. I would use chunks of it and use more next time. The boys loved the one I made w/strawberries & blueberries better than the pineapple. But like I said , only because there wasn't enough pineapple.

    I want to try peaches next time!

  • teresa_nc7
    13 years ago

    Shaun, when I saw the pineapple cake, my first thought was..."hmmmm.....more 'nips!'" Not boobies - LOL!

    Jessy, thank you for your failed experiment to show us what NOT to do! LOL! But....I just remembered that I have some individual porcelain quiche/brulee pans up in the back of a cabinet. I want to try plums next.

  • bons
    13 years ago

    Would love to try this in a tart pan. But 9" or 10"?

    Bonnie

    P.S. Will probably try this gluten-free too at some point (living on the edge!)

  • claire_de_luna
    13 years ago

    Well, y'all made me do it. Mine's in the oven as I sit here and type. I had some peach slices in the freezer so I made mine with that, to go with some peach gelato I made yesterday. It's a beautiful looking torte, and so easy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • althetrainer
    13 years ago

    I really should stay away from this thread... but I can't help it. LOL Everything looks so dangerously delicious! Now I want to make mixed berries muffins... maybe Monday will be a good day.

  • Cathy_in_PA
    13 years ago

    WINNER! Made this morning (all blueberries) half gone. May have another slice with ice cream tonight.

    Last year, I had to make a french gateau (gah! time consuming) for my daughter's french class -- had to buy a springform pan. Been collecting dust since then.

    On a personal note, I should have made sure that my springform was really sealed correctly or put a cookie sheet underneath, but the oven mess was worth it.

    Bumblebeez -- interesting comment about complexity. My son and I were saying that this torte really lets the fruit taste shine through and tasted "clean." I used lemon zest/small amt. cinnamon/sugar.

    Great -- Thanks!

    Cathy in SWPA

  • brownthumbia
    13 years ago

    Oh, rats!! mouth is watering and I don't have a springform pan. Can I substitute anything else? only have a 10" angel food cake pan.

  • annie1992
    13 years ago

    BT, it can be made in a cake pan with one of those release levers and I think it could be made in a deep dish pie plate, although that first wedge might be hard to get out.

    Annie

  • annie1992
    13 years ago

    Oh, and I made mine in a tart pan with a removable bottom that Jessica gave me when she stayed with me here in Michigan.

    Annie

  • bons
    13 years ago

    What size tart pan, please??

    Bonnie

  • jakkom
    13 years ago

    Nice to see such enthusiasm about a Marion Burros recipe. She was one of my favorite food writers, but so few people remember her any longer.

  • starlightfarm
    13 years ago

    I have made this in a 9" deep dish pan pan... but it didn't do as well as it did in the metal (aluminum?) cake pan.

    So far, I have made it in a 9" springform pan, deep dish glass pie pan, and a 9" aluminum cake pan. The aluminum cake pan has "cooked" it the best so far.

    I did put parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan and it released just fine.

    As a side note.... I have started sprinkling sugar in the bottom of the pan (and on the sides) in the cooking spray... and it is a wonderful "crunch" added to the crust.

    I've made at least 8 of this recipe so far... the variations are endless.

  • sheshebop
    13 years ago

    I'be made it twice with blueberries (everybody loved it, I thought it was ok) I made one with apricots, and that was heavenly. The apricots were quite tart, and it blended so well with the sweet of the "cake" that it was fabulous. Today I am making one from blackberries, one from peaches, and one from plums. Next it will be tart cherries.
    This dessert is quite good, and so easy to make that it is surprising how good it is.
    Thanks jojo for turning us all on to this.

  • gardenlover25
    13 years ago

    Mouth watering recipe. As much as I want to cook this exciting recipe like others who posted their delicious dessert. I hope I can post mine too. Thanks for sharing.

  • natesgramma
    13 years ago

    Yes, please more pictures!!!

  • claire_de_luna
    13 years ago

    My peach torte with peach gelato turned out to be a huge hit. It was so successful, I decided to go ahead and see if a savory version would turn out for me. It's in the oven right now, so I have to wait 45 minutes to discover if it will be a ''hit'', or I ''missed''!

    Here is what I did: I substituted the sugar for parmesan cheese I ground in the food processor, and added about 3 T. of chopped chives to the softened butter. After adding the eggs, flour, salt and baking powder, I spread the batter into a greased tart pan, evening it out with an offset spatula. I covered the batter with a thin layer of some French onion sour cream I made yesterday (by carmelizing the onions until they were deeply browned, and stirring them into the sour cream). To that I added a 1/4 lb. of browned sausage (Des Moines finest, Graziano's!), and about 1 Tablespoon of parmesan, which I reserved for the top.

    I hope it tastes good...

    Even if it doesn't, the French Onion dip is to die for. I may just have to console myself with that!

  • claire_de_luna
    13 years ago

    I wouldn't call it a success. (In other words, don't do this.) It tastes good, but the chemistry just isn't right without the sugar. Also, parmesan is too heavy (IMHO) for this; now I know! The crust looked more like cornbread, and didn't rise much.

    Stick to the sweet torte.

    Ah well. Were would we be without experiments? I do dearly love to dabble.

  • lindac
    13 years ago

    I'll bet the "chemistry" would be better if you omitted some of the butter when you added the cheese.....I also have 1/2 pound of graziano's sausage ion the freezer....
    But that may be better with zucchini!
    Linda C

  • happygram
    13 years ago

    I want to add my thanks for this wonderful and easy recipe. I brought it to a friend's home this afternoon, and every person there asked me for the recipe. I used raspberries, blueberries, and peaches. It was absolutely delicious, and I was proud to tell where I got the recipe.

    Thanks so much.
    Mary, who's not a baker

  • diinohio
    13 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe jojoco. I found this thread Sat. evening and made 2 Sunday morning. It was the perfect dessert (easy, fast and delicious) for the cook out we had to welcome Boston to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and to meet Great Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and cousins.


    I made the first one with nectarine, raspberries and blackberries, the second one I added blueberries. Everyone liked it!

    Di

  • jojoco
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Let me officially retire this thread on a fun note. My daughter is 14 and loves to bake. She made this last night with zero help from me. It is a perfect cake for a burgeoning baker. Like every torte pictured here, hers was both lovely looking and delicious.
    Jo