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New York Times Plum Torte--Springform Pan Necessary?

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All,

My grandmother makes a plum torte (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/21/din...) from the New York Times that everyone loves, and now that I'm both out of the house and having company over for the Jewish Near Year on Thursday, I figured that I'd make one.

Two quick questions. One, I assume that there's no problem with my using frozen plums. I bought 'em a few weeks back, halved 'em, pitted 'em, and then froze 'em. Reconstituted, shouldn't be a problem, no?

Second, do I really need a springform pan? I'm not really the baking type (I'm a fairly good cook, but I don't bake much), and spending an extra $15 for a pan for this one thing just doesn't seem necessary. Can I use an 9 inch pie plate? Should I put parchment or something on the bottom? Grease it? Grandma says that the springform is necessary, but I don't think that she's ever tried it without and she has a massive kitchen with space to store stuff that she doesn't use that often. . .

Thanks!

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  1. you can use the frozen plums.
    A springform makes it easier but you can use a regular cake pan. Be aware that cake pan or a pie plate is less deep then a springform so it may be too much batter and even parchmented and buttered and floured. the sides are not straight, so it will not come out of the pan well.
    Can't you borrow grandma's pan?

    1. This is a cake that we make quite frequently because we love it warmed up with ice cream.
      http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/dim...
      The cake inverts extremely well after a slight cooling, but less plums are being used than the recipe you're using. The only reason I'm posting this one for you is because I'm sure this one will work using a pie plate without much difficulty. It's a thin cake, and depending on how other posters weigh in this can be another option for you.

      For the NYT recipe, you might increase baking time if you were using the spring form with the frozen plums as I'd be cautious about the extra moisture, but with the shallow pie dish I think I'd leave it at the same baking time and test for doneness. Placing the paper underneath might work once the cake is completely cool (even refrigerated) before lifting out. Not sure about trying to remove the paper underneath but you could probably invert it it onto another dish to remove the paper without re-inverting face up. I'd use plenty of Baker's Joy or other cooking spray before pouring the batter onto the paper and I think I'd prefer foil or waxed paper instead of parchment if you have any available.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lilgi

        Frozen plums tend to have more liquid than fresh plums. Given that this cake is often soft/very moist when frozen (my grandmother makes one as well, lol), I would worry about using frozen fruit. Perhaps you should take the fruit out and let it defrost before putting it into the batter. This way you can eliminate any extra liquid. ;)

        1. re: Steph648

          Agreed, unsure about the outcome on the frozen fruit, but wouldn't hesitate to try since this cake tends to get moist with the fruit as it is. My concern is how the plums defrost since I've never used frozen fruit.

      2. Try Wilton Cake release to get the torte out of the pan. It works like a charm and would help to get this out in one piece.

        1. I asked a similar question last fall about a harvest cake. I got some great suggestions about how to fashion a "lifting device" (for want of a better term) to use instead of a springform pan which allows you to avoid inverting the cake. It lifted out of the pan beautifully, no inversion required. See my post with photos of using a parchment paper sling: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7398... .

          1. You should *definitely* use parchment paper; grease the pan well before putting the parchment paper in, and then grease the parchment paper too.

            You might find it easier to remove the torte if you cool it on the counter and then put it in the freezer before trying to remove.