Lisboa : a plum torte

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It’a about time that I share the second part of our Portuguese trip : Lisbon. It’s a very popular destination right now (at least in France) and I easily understand why as the city is very charming !

We booked an airbnb in the Alfama neighbourhood, the historic district of Lisbon with winding paved streets, Becos, that climb up to the top of the hill to the Castelo San Jorge. Our little studio, on the first floor, had a view on one side on a narrow street with an adorable grandma who was sewing all day outside while listening to Fado; and on the other side opened up towards the Tage. So quaint and picturesque. We couldn’t have dreamt of a better spot to unwind after a long day exploring the city.

Lisbon is one of those cities that charms you right away : the beautiful facades covered with azulejos, the laundry drying while hanging at the windows, narrow paved streets going straight up, bars and restaurants hidden in small pathways that overflow in the streets, the miradouros that offer a spectacular view on the city after a hike in dark streets, the bougainvillea taking over the buildings, the tramway weaving through the old streets at top speed.

The light there is golden, filled with summer heat and barely touching the colorful buildings . Often, we look for the shades, to hide; and for an escape to the maze of streets. Cafes with a daily menu written on a wrinkled paper napkin are always a good idea. We eat fresh grilled fish for the price of glass of wine in Paris. In the evening, we take shelter in rooftops to contemplate the declining light on the city.

Also, we stop at old-fashioned shops, a little dark, with wooden counters, that sell wonders from a different era. We wander through the streets, along the Tage, in quiet garden, everywhere in the city. The view on the river is always a refreshing one, to breathe a little and take a break from the buildings that stand on the hill’s side.

In this wonderful city, we eat simple things, a little rustic but always fresh and delicious. To illustrate this trip with a recipe, I wanted to share this mythic Plum Torte that is a perfect outlet for ripe and juicy fruits. The best option is to choose small, purple plum, very juicy !

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Plum Torte
Recipe by Marian Burros for The NYT

Ingredients

125g (1 cup) of flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
150g (3/4 cup) of sugar + 1 tbsp
120g of butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp of lemon juice
12 purple prunes, cut in half

1. Preheat your oven at 180°. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at the time.
2. Then, mix in the flour mix. Pour into a 9 inch springform pan.
3. Place the halved prunes, face down. Sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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