You pretty much can’t get this one wrong. Even burnt—as I made it this morning—it tastes delicious. My last attempt, a triple batch with one less egg and two types of sugar, nailed it like Kerri Strug circa 1996. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’ll land on its tasty torte feet no matter what you throw at/in it. She is by far the most forgiving fruit torte you will ever meet.
My preferred occasion for baking this beauty is to impress guests/family with a minimum of effort.... which is why, in this month of Greek summer and family visiting I’ve made it a Ferris Bueller-style nine times. NINE TIMES?!? NINE TIMES!!!
It’s just so darn easy and soooo darn popular.
I poached this recipe from my mother’s personal collection. Growing up In our house of regulated sweets, this was a massive favourite of mine because whenever we had it for desert, any leftovers were fair game for breakfast.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CAKE FOR BREAKFAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now as a grown-up, I love it with coffee. Fruity and fun, but not too sweet. And simple. Have I said that yet? So simple to make!! And you can make it ahead! I made one two days ago and only just had it for breakfast (those intended friends finally arrived) and it was scrummmmmmptious.
Although Kea’s rather tailored selection of dry goods available for purchase stops short of more complicated recipes (really, no chocolate chips?), this gem only needs the basics.
For those of you off the island with a Whole Food’s in your backyard, do yourself a favor and make it anyway. If you have the time—and if remember to set a timer and get it out of the oven before the top turns a light shade of charcoal—it will be 100times more exciting than buying that fancy strawberry-balanced-on-a-glazed-kiwi fruit tart.
As for the assembly, the classic version is made with Italian plums (also made by Greek trees in August and available at Aristaios) or any other stone fruits like peaches, apricots, or cherries. After many repetitions and experiments I’ve found it works with prettymuch any fruit—melons or other disintegrate-when-hot fruits excluded.
In London I had blueberries, so I threw in a pint... and then another. It's that forgiving! I had figs last week, so I chopped off their twigg-ish tops, plopped them down, and made Mihali's new favorite version.
The base is a simple quick bread, leavened by baking soda. I ran out of granulated sugar mid-recipe so I used powdered sugar… and now that’s my favorite way to make it! If you are without a hand blender, powdered sugar is marvellously easy to cream into butter by hand. You could also try swapping the all-purpose white flour for another.
Whole grain flour will yield a heavier dough, but put enough fruit on top and no one will fuss. Gluten-free fans, give it a go with your favourite flour alternative and tell me how it works for you. I haven’t experimented yet myself, since—you’ll be surprised to learn—Giorgia at the To Eklekton Grocery doesn’t carry quinoa flour. ;)
1 cup/ 100 grams SUGAR
1/2 cup/ 113 grams BUTTER
1 cup/ 125 grams FLOUR
1 tsp/ ~3-4 grams BAKING POWDER
1-2 cups FRUIT
any stone fruits, blueberries, apples, figs
~1/3 cup CINNAMON SUGAR
juice of 1 LEMON
make it happen
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs.
Sift/stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mix above.
Spread into a 9" spring form pan or a dish pretty enough to put on the table.
*A full batch will overflow a pie pan.
Arrange fruit on the top. *I find that putting skin-side up helps to make the cake extra-moist.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and finish with lemon juice.
Bake at 350/180 for 1 hour. Toothpick should come out cleanly.
Cool and eat. Can be prepared 1-2 days in advance... if you can keep yourself from eating it in the meantime!