Torte for the Handy Man

Post by blogger | June 11, 2012      
Gotta do what it takes to keep the handy man happy.

Gotta do what it takes to keep the handy man happy.

The water heater blew up at WildSnow HQ. Lou dug into his trove of ten thousand skills and hooked up a new one. Even though he got to use his torch, I knew he’d rather be soldering on our jeep instead of copper water pipes. And when I heard something burst, followed by the sound of spraying water accompanied with certain well known words, I knew I’d better dig through my recipes and produce something sweet to ease the pain.

Water heater for backcountry skiing showers.

The work should equal the reward.

Lou scarfed the torte — the whole torte — a lot faster than he fixed the water heater. Perhaps Julia Child was whispering in his ear, “Everything in moderation… including moderation.”

Zwetschge Torte (Swiss German for plum tart)

4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups flour
5 tablespoons cold water
3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Plum Filling
2 pounds plums
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 425 (adjust for altitude if necessary).
Dough: in food processor, cut butter and margarine. Add rest of ingredients for dough. Pulse until mixture forms a ball. Form dough into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill while preparing topping.

Topping: in food processor, cut butter and pulse with remaining topping ingredients until crumbles begin to form.

Pie crust maker

Rolling out the dough for a torte or pie is easy using a 'Pie Crust Maker.' Place the dough in the middle of the sleeve, zip closed and roll out. For a 10 inch spring form, roll out a 13 inch crust so there is enough for crimping an edge.


Fit dough into a 10 inch spring form and overlap edges to make rim of torte. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Sprinkle chopped nuts on crust.

Arrange plums on shell.

Slice plums into thin wedges, about 1/2 inch and toss with cinnamon and sugar. Arrange plums on crust. Crumble the topping dough and sprinkle over plums. Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven.  Cool and eat.

Cool. Sift powdered sugar over torte just before serving.

You can whip this cake out in a jiffy with the right tools. Here are a few that I find indispensable:

Set of 2 – Easy Pie Crust Maker Bag, 11″ and 14″

Kaiser Bakeware Basic Tinplate Nested Springform Pans, Set of 3

Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White


10 Responses to “Torte for the Handy Man”

  1. Glenn Sliva June 11th, 2012 11:14 am
  2. Billy June 11th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Wildsnow girl has had some good, and funny posts as of late. I hope she’s getting paid well.

  3. Lisa June 11th, 2012 2:06 pm

    Glenn-thanks for the link. The Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls look sinful. But maybe we should try the Sopska salad since Lou said his pants are shrinking.

  4. Glenn Sliva June 11th, 2012 7:03 pm

    I noticed a project for Louie. Install a Thermador 36″ ultra low gas cooktop to replace your electric. Set it to 200 btu and go skiing. Come back to Red Beans and Rice! Or a crockpot works just as well. My trick for ultra low is to put the pot into an empty iron skillet on top of the burner. Cooks real slow. (grin)

    Another idea is Baked Alaska. Try browning the Meringue with his new torch he fixed the water heater with!

  5. Julie Kennedy June 11th, 2012 8:52 pm

    WOW, lovin’ this new voice at Wild Snow! Thanks Lisa for sharing your Torte magic, perfect homework, I’ll be ready for the ski season up on Chair!

  6. Mark W June 11th, 2012 11:18 pm

    Wow! Reminds me of the Italian plums my wife’s family picks on the old ranch homestead in northern Idaho. Plum pie is the best. Sorry to hear about the water heater. Ours went south a few weeks ago. Then the refrigerator died too. Guess we’re just planning on the dishwasher going next!

  7. Andy June 12th, 2012 6:06 am

    dashing to the shop for ingredients now…. looks fantastic, our neighbour brought us a torte around a month back and it lasted about 3 hours

  8. Lou June 12th, 2012 6:54 am

    What’s your secret? The torts around here last 3 minutes.

  9. Lisa June 12th, 2012 12:51 pm

    Billy – the pay is sketchy but the benefits are outstanding! 😀

  10. Lisa June 12th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Bravo Andy! Let us know how it turned out.

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