Purple Plum Torte

Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings


Gaston and Olga Hirsch arrived in the United States shortly after World War II. They settled in Donaldsonville, La., 45 miles west of New Orleans. The Hirsch's were both trained in the restaurant and hotel business. Gaston's family owned "La Marne," a grand hotel in Saverne, France, and Olga's family owned "La Forestiere," a family restaurant in the town of Veymerange, Lorraine. Her specialties were pâtés, terrines and tortes.

Ingredients for Crust:

1⅓ cups flour

¼ pound chipped cold butter

1 tbsp sugar

¼ cup ice water

Method for Crust:

In a food processor equipped with a metal blade, combine flour, butter and sugar. Pulse 1 minute or until mixture reaches texture of coarse meal. Slowly pour in water until dough forms into a ball. Remove and place on a floured surface. Roll dough into a circle approximately ⅛-inch thick. Firmly press into a 9-inch pie or torte pan and set aside.

Ingredients for Filling:

12 ripe purple plums

2 tbsps sugar

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

2 eggs

½ cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

1 cup powdered sugar

Method for Filling:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp paring knife, cut plums into ¼-inch slices and discard seeds. In a large mixing bowl, toss plums with 2 tablespoons sugar to coat. Arrange slices neatly around dough until all have been used. Place pie on bottom oven rack and bake approximately 20 minutes to render juices from fruit. While pie is baking, combine cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. When piecrust is done, remove from oven and pour cream mixture evenly over baked fruit. Return to oven and cook 20–25 minutes or until custard is set. Remove from oven and dust generously with powdered sugar. This pie may also be made with peaches or even apples.