thick plain yogurt, crème fraîche or whipped cream (optional)
1Preheat the oven to 350?F.
2Pull apart the kataifi with your fingers, and cut with scissors so that it’s in roughly 2-inch pieces—just enough to make it easier to handle. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss to coat the phyllo well.
3Press a bit more than half of the mixture into a deep pie plate, baking dish or cake pan, and use your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup to press it down into the bottom and up the sides. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Stir together the ricotta, honey and cream and spread it over the bottom. Top with the remaining kataifi, pressing loosely to make an even surface.
4Bake for 45-50 minutes, until deep golden. As the torte bakes, bring the sugar to a simmer with 1/2 cup water and the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Simmer for a minute, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool. In a small saucepan or small skillet, cook the plums and sugar until the mixture is soft and saucy.
5When the torte comes out of the oven, pour the syrup evenly overtop while it’s still hot. (Remove the cinnamon and cardamom with a slotted spoon first.) Invert onto a plate and serve in wedges with the stewed plums and a dollop of yogurt, crème fraîche or whipped cream, if you like. Serves 8.