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German Plum Tart - Zwetschgenkuchen

My husband loves a good, German Zwetschgenkuchen (try saying that!) or Plum Tart, which is obviously hard to come by ‘round these parts. But we came across mounds of damson plums at a farm stand in Saugerties, NY this past weekend, and he looked at me with pleading eyes and asked me to make him one. ConsiderIng the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and all, of course I did :)

A German Plum Tart, as with many German fruit tarts, has a yeast base, so it’s like a bread-y cake with lots of fruit on top. I’m personally not a huge fan of these (I’m more of a cupcake kinda gal) but the verdict was that it was “legit”. Win-win, I made a cake and I have no desire to eat it! But it won’t last long, next I’ll be working on a new cookie recipe which I can assure you, I WILL be eating! xoxo Kirsty

Ingredients for 2 baking tray sized tarts

  • 4 cups (500g) flour

  • 1.4oz (40g) fresh yeast, or 0.7oz (20g) dry active yeast, or 0.35oz (10g) instant yeast

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup (75g) sugar

  • 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (200ml) whole milk, lukewarm

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 4 lbs. (1.8kg) damson plums, pitted and quartered

To finish, before baking:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • a good pinch of cardamom (optional)

Combine the lukewarm milk with one teaspoon of the sugar (from the 1/3 cup) and yeast in a small bowl. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes and it should start to foam up.

Meanwhile, add the flour, remaining sugar, butter, egg and salt to the bowl of stand mixer. When the yeast has proofed, add it to the mixing bowl and, using the dough hook of your mixer, start slowly to combine the ingredients, then increase to high speed for 2 minutes.

Cover the bowl and set aside to rise for one hour. After the hour has passed, return the bowl to the stand mixer and knead for another 30 seconds, then set aside to rise again, this time for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and line two baking trays (approximately 10”x15” or 25x38cm) with parchment paper. Wash, pit and quarter the plums and set aside.

Divide the dough into two halves. Roll each half out to fit the standard baking trays. Place the dough on the prepared tray and arrange the plums, cut sides up or alternating, however you fancy, on top.

Combine sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl, and sprinkle it all over the top of both tarts.

Bake for 25 minutes until fruit bubbles and the dough is golden.

Cool and serve with lashings of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. We preferred this on day two!

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