Monday, August 9, 2010

Plum and Blueberry Upside-Down Torte

Plum and Blueberry Upside-Down Torte baked in a cast iron pan-what fun!  So delicious and simple to make except for finding Greengage plums.  This was the chosen recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes for this week's  HCB baking.

The Greengage plum is an elusive fruit.  Finding any required a dragnet telephone sweep covering 77 miles/124km north to south and 77 miles/124 km east to west.  Finally some were located at the very last place on my call list, near the stables in a small produce stand.  The one we drive by once or twice a week.  They saved me the last pound of Kelsey Greengages except now I'm not so certain Kelsey actually
are Greengage.  
Even produce people are confused by Greengage's identity hearing green and plum in the same sentence and they didn't look like these or the above picture. 

Along the way I learned quite a bit about Greengage plums and why, delicious and coveted as they are among jam makers and bakers, they've become scarce.  California farmers have pulled their Greengage orchards because they do not sell in super markets.  

The flavor is different than the more popular purple and red varieties, less sweet, but I honestly don't know if these were as ripe as they should be.

 This is the first time for me baking a cake in a cast iron skillet, which I have wanted to do for a long time. The caramel syrup was stirred up in a heavy sauce pan then poured into the skillet with the cut up plums and blueberries arranged.

I tossed the dry ingredients into the Big Beast Cuisinart which refused to start.  The trusty little mini Cuisinart was pressed into service, mixing the dry ingredients with butter in two batches, dumping the tasty dough into a bowl and then pouring in mixed eggs and vanilla.  They stirred in easily  with a fork.  

It baked forty minutes at 325 instead of 350 taking into account the dark skillet, cooled a few minutes then flipped out of the skillet intact.  

No one wanted to wait.  Everyone liked it.  Baking in cast iron and mixing the dough with a fork made me think of Little House on the Prairie.  Or in my case, Ma and Pa Kettle.


  1. Looks yummy! Looks like the green plums looks prettier after it's baked compared to the purple ones.

  2. Looks Awesome!!! I used Green Gage also and loved them, although I ran out. Agree with you, it is simple to prepare and delicious.

  3. I'm glad you all enjoyed it. I'll have to watch for the green plums. I was so excited to see fresh white currants at Sprouts. They're going to have to garnish something!

  4. I think the green plum seem to hold their shape better during the baking process.. because mine totally disintegrated during the baking process and turn into jam (according to the testers they were yummy).. so no harm there.

  5. Your cake turned out beautiful! I have to commend you for seeking out the greengage plums. I considered using a cast iron skillet but wasn't sure if I needed to heat the skillet first before putting the fruit and batter in it. What size skillet did you use? I was supposed to make my cake yesterday but that didn't happen. So I will be making it tonight.

  6. I really enjoyed the info and pictures of the Green Gage plums. It turned out very nice in the skillet.

  7. ב''ה

    Your pictures make my mouth water to try those green plums!

  8. ma and pa kettle! that is hilarious. the plums look so pretty against tall the purple blueberries.

  9. I have never seen those looks like you did a great job with your frontier version of this you imagine never having a mixer again....Noooooooooo!!! I like the skillet method your cake turned out great!