Sweet Buttery Nectarine Torte Topped with Walnuts

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Tea cakes couldn’t be easier to make than this lovely buttery nectarine torte. Soft and moist, topped with sweet and juicy nectarines, toasted walnuts, dusted with cinnamon and sprinkles of sugar.
Nectarine Walnut Torte

I’m super excited to share this amazing buttery nectarine torte with you! All thanks to a dear friend who kindly gave us a load of ripe nectarines over the weekend. I finally had the perfect opportunity to make this delicious, sweet and juicy cake.

I’ve always wanted to try this purple plum torte by Smitten Kitchen. But I don’t usually get around to stocking plums in my pantry. It’s not a fruit I typically go out of my way to get. That’s ‘cos half the time, I tend to get side-tracked instead by berries, cherries, and whatever else that’s in season.

See how gorgeously plump and juicy these nectarines look! They were ripe and absolutely perfect for baking. So, no brainer here! I just had to make a nectarine torte out of these beauties. I actually favour nectarines over plums as well, so this worked out great.

Nectarine Walnut Torte

Can I make this torte with other fruits?

Sure you can! As long as the fruit you’re intending to use doesn’t get too mushy when baked, unless you love it that way! Other than plums and nectarines, my favourite choices for fruit tortes include:

  • pears
  • apples
  • mangoes
  • peaches
  • mixed berries
  • bananas

What is a torte?

When I first started baking, I really didn’t know what a torte was. The first impression that struck me was that tortes look almost like pies, being rather short in height. But made of cake instead of pie crust or pastry. But this wasn’t quite correct either.

In fact, there is much confusion in the literature on what exactly a torte is. The word torte is European. It is derived from the German word, torte, meaning cake. What we generally call a ‘cake’ here, the Europeans use the word ‘torte’ to call the same.

It is considered an elegant, polished cake. It can be a single layer of cake or multi-layered, filled with jams, creams, buttercreams or chocolate. Think of the famous German cake, sacher torte.

There are chocolate tortes, fruit tortes, nut tortes, jam tortes, cream tortes, and on and on.

But wait, there’s more. It can be rich and dense, or light and spongy. Torte variations include those made with flour, as well as with very little flour, with or without leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder.

About this nectarine torte

This nectarine torte is fundamentally, a nectarine butter cake. At first glance, you might think this recipe looks rather ordinary. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing special can come out of it.

But this is truly no ordinary torte. It tastes sweet, fruity and buttery! As for the cinnamon, it adds an earthy, fragrant aroma and sweet-savoury notes.

As this nectarine torte bakes, the nectarines release sweet juices.  These caramelised juices ooze and seep into the cusps of soft cake underneath, making the cake taste almost custardy. It is so moist and absolutely wonderful to savour!

Nectarine Walnut Torte

About this nectarine torte recipe

Tortes are one of the easiest cakes to make, with a short list of everyday pantry ingredients. And from start to end, it takes only an hour. You’ll need:

  • fruit (nectarines, plums, apples, peaches, etc.)
  • butter
  • eggs
  • plain or all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • sugar
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • ground cinnamon (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • nuts (walnuts, pecans, almond flakes, etc.)

What else should I know?

Know the sweetness of the fruit

When using fruit in baking, I always find it a good idea to taste how sweet they are. This way, I can compensate for the sweetness of the cake by adding or reducing the sugar amounts in the recipe.

With Western cake recipes, I tend to cut back quite a bit on the sugar. I reduced the 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar in the original recipe to 3/4 cup (150 gm). It was just right. Given that I had sweet ripe nectarines, of course.

If you have sourish fruit, then you might want to add more sugar. If you’re tempted to reduce a LOT of sugar, do be aware that sugar actually adds moistness to your cake. So with less or a lot less sugar, the cake will not be as moist as this recipe intended.

Nectarine_Walnut_Torte_17

How much fruit depends on the fruit you choose

You may need to make an estimate of how much fruit you’ll need. This depends on the fruit you use, and on their size. I ended up using only 8 nectarines, while the original recipe uses 12 small plums, so it’s all kind of relative.

Add your favourite nuts for texture

I just love fruit and nut combinations! So I couldn’t resist. Just had to throw in some chopped walnuts.

Whatever nuts you use, sprinkle over the batter in the torte just before putting the pan into the oven. The nuts add a nice crunch to the texture, and my oh my, I do so love cakes with texture!

Use the correct-sized pan

This recipe recommends baking in a 23-cm (9-inch) round cake pan. It makes for a short cake. The nectarine torte settles at about 1 1/2 inches (3 – 4 cm) tall after baking.

If you’d like a taller cake, you could double the batter.  But not the fruit since you’ll still be baking in a 23-cm (9-inch) pan. Alternatively, you could use a smaller cake pan.

But you’d also need less fruit for a smaller surface area. Baking times may be a bit longer, as a taller cake with a smaller surface area will need more time.

Nectarine Walnut Torte

I actually baked it for a tad longer than I should have because my attention was off the timer. This probably happens more often than I’d care to admit. Like when I’m feeling like Supergirl and trying to do a zillion things all at once!

Hence, the toasty brown appearance. But it could also be all that cinnamon that I dosed on top. However, the unexpected outcome was a delicious crisp in the crust.

Nonetheless, it’s really hard to mess up this nectarine torte! The cake came together beautifully, in taste and texture!

Nectarine Walnut Torte

This nectarine torte tastes better the day after!

The recommended suggestion is to let the cake rest overnight at room temperature, stored in an air-tight container. This will allow all the juices and flavours come together, tasting even more delicious the day after. But, did I wait? Nooo… but I would, if I really could.

Day after baking: Reached for a slice of this, and true to form, the flavours came together wonderfully and is utterly yummy! So, please do try to let it sit a day, or bake a day ahead of you’re planning to serve this cake. Everyone will be wow-ed!

I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve had fruit tortes that tasted this good in quite a while. I hope you’ll enjoy this too!

Love cake with fruit? Here are more recipes to inspire your next bake:

Tried this recipe? I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.

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Nectarine Walnut Torte

Nectarine Walnut Torte

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This recipe makes a fruit-topped torte (cake) with a soft and moist texture, topped with nectarines and chopped walnuts, and dusted liberally with cinnamon and sprinkles of sugar (Adapted from 'Purple Plum Torte' recipe contributed by Smitten Kitchen at http://smittenkitchen.com).

Ingredients

  • 125 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 150 g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp,, depending on sweetness of fruit used
  • 115 g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Handful chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 deg C (350 deg F). Place oven rack in the centre of the oven. Lightly grease the base and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform pan (optional).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed (speed 3 on my Kitchen Aid mixer), until fluffy, and light or pale in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl, until well incorporated. Then add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  3. Spoon out batter into the prepared springform pan, and level the surface. Arrange the nectarine halves, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle lemon juice all over, then cinnamon powder, and lastly, a tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the exposed parts of the batter.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the centre of the oven, or until a metal skewer inserted into the exposed cake (not the fruit), emerges free of sticky batter. Remove from oven, and let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the springform rim, and let cake cool completely on the pan's base set on a cooling rack.
  5. Recommended: Let cake rest overnight, covered with a tea cloth, at room temperature - the flavours will come together and taste even better the next day.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 cake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 5g

All nutritional values are approximate only.

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