Governor Plum Torte

Yeran: What’s a governor plum, anyway? Moving to the Caribbean has exposed me to all kinds of produce that I would’ve never come across in California, even at the mile-long farmer’s market in Hollywood. I was at a local market this week and I asked someone what these little “governor plums” were and how to eat them. She told me to take one plum (about 1/2 an inch in diameter), roll it in between the palms of my hand, and then eat it (whole). I tried it the next day, and was really surprised that it tasted LIKE A PLUM! I’m always careful to make assumptions about the taste of fruits here because, for example, there are things like sugar-apples which aren’t even apples. Since I didn’t think I’d eat the whole box of governor plums myself, I decided to look to the internet and find a way to bake with them. Boy, am I glad I did.

Summary: This is the classic ‘Original Plum Torte’ recipe from the NY Times, which has been published in every September issue since 1982, except we’re using caribbean governor plums instead. This cake is perfect to enjoy with unsweetened black tea any time of the day, and a non-pumpkin way of bringing Autumn into your home.


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (be sure it isn’t too old)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of very ripe, split Governor Plums, seeds removed (6-10 seeds/plum)
  • Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon for topping


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches.
  4. Split your plums open, and massage the seeds out of the fruit. There can be 6-10 in each plum.
  5. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of your plums.
  7. Sprinkle with (about) 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
  8. Bake one hour, approximately.
  9. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired or cool to lukewarm.
  10. Serve plain or with whipped cream.

To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.



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