Once upon a time, I knew happiness. I knew the sounds of my friends’ laughter floating through the air and the soft hiss of the barbecue in the background. I knew the gentle touch of the mountain breeze upon my cheek, saw it sifting through the treetops. I knew the warmth of the late summer sun on my brow, its Midas touch turning everything within sight golden. I knew all this, and more.
Lately? Rain. Lots of it. Rain and walls: the four beige ones of my bedroom, the corkboard-covered affairs of my office.
Gone are my days of leisure, spent romping in lazy rivers and hiking through wooded forests. I was so busy gathering every bit of joy I could during that time that I completely forgot about this cake — this incredible cake that has seen the front page of nearly every food blog worth its salt. Rediscovering these photos gave me a much-needed trip down memory lane.
Marian Burros’ plum torte, originally published in The New York Times, sparked a cult following that demanded its printing in the paper each year. It is a landmark recipe. It is also that perfect, impressive combination of delicious, easy, and beautiful. The night before an overnight trip, I baked the last of summer’s delectably sweet plums into the torte. Hours later, I pulled the cake out of my tote bag where it’d been safely tucked away. Warmed in the oven and topped with generous scoops of ice cream, it was bliss — particularly when enjoyed in a cabin in the redwoods with some of your closest, dearest friends. It’s exactly the type of cake one wants to eat to remember pure, simple happiness.
Marian Burros’ plum torte
Recipe at The New York Times