Sunday, September 17, 2006

what I did today

You can tell that autumn is close approaching because this weekend we ended up with about 10,000 very ripe Damson plums from the in-laws' allotment garden (look halfway down the Wikipedia page for the history of this type of garden in Germany).

I always kind of dread Damson plum season, because Damsons are known as Zwetschge up here in the north, and Zwetschge (or the plural Zwetschgen) is a word I still have trouble pronouncing even after all these years of speaking German. You try getting your tongue around five consonants in a row and see how you fare. And these little plums are everywhere right now so you can't avoid talking about them. But that's OK, I'm used to having my husband and kids laugh their heads off every time I open my mouth.

One thing they don't laugh about, however, are my mad cake making skillz. So today I decided to use up the first of the plums by making a traditional German Zwetschgenkuchen - a plum cake.

This type of cake, a thin layer of slightly sweet yeast dough topped with fruit such as plums, apricots, apples, rhubarb etc. is very popular served with afternoon coffee.

I made the dough in my bread machine and then rolled it out on the baking sheet and topped it with the pitted, halved plums. After baking, the cake can be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar if desired, and tastes even better with a big dollop of sweetened whipped cream.


Preparing the cake for baking (yes, I ruined my nails pitting those plums!)


Ta-da!


everything looks better sprinkled with a bit of sugar

Stay tuned because some time this week I'll be showing you what to do with the remaining 9,950 plums!

14 Comments:

At September 18, 2006 8:19 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Oh, Mausi, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! My mother made this (we called it Pflaumkuchen, though I also heard her call it "Zwetchendatsche" or something like that. I forgot to ask her for the recipe before she died (sigh), but your picture looks exactly like what she made!! Looking at your photos, I can taste it...

If you e-mail it to me (carolhsnideratgmaildotcom), I'd sure appreciate it!!

Carol

 
At September 18, 2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Betsy said...

Wow Christina, you've made my mouth water! Those plums are everywhere here as well and I've been wondering what people do with them aside from making jam...

Your cake looks delicious!

 
At September 18, 2006 1:10 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Mmmmm. I just had lunch, so I'm reading this just in time for desert :-)

 
At September 18, 2006 2:46 PM, Blogger swissmiss said...

Those sheet cakes are very popular here in Switzerland too - they look just like that. After Zwetschgen the next most common is probably apricot - this time of year it's apricotsapalooza around here.

 
At September 18, 2006 3:05 PM, Blogger Maribeth said...

You have my sympathy. I just finished doing our plums. I did do a cake, but not a big fan. Hubby is, but too much sugar for him. Anyway, after that I made jam and that was actually easy and soooo good.

 
At September 18, 2006 3:14 PM, Blogger christina said...

Hiya Carol! - I'll get the recipe to you as soon as I can. It's super easy. I think they call it Zwetschgendatschi in Bavaria and Switzerland - it's all the same thing though.

Betsy - Yes, they're really good for jam too.

CanSwiss - I'd send you a piece but I don't know how well it would travel. :-)

swissmiss - The sheet cakes are so nice and simple - I really like them, and I adore any kind of apricot cake. Must find someone who has a tree...

maribeth - All that pitting just takes hours, doesn't it? My mother-in-law takes care of all the jam-making around here, thank goodness, because I wouldn't have a clue.

 
At September 18, 2006 6:23 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

wow - that's a lot of cutting. But it looks yummy to me!!! Wow...I can't believe all that work...

 
At September 18, 2006 9:24 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Mmm.. i just had this for the first time this weekend. I'm already a fan!!

 
At September 18, 2006 11:47 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

My MIL is the plum cake baker in the family. She sometimes bakes it plain topped like you do but lately she's been making a sort of streusel top but not a crumbly, sugary one.

I was sort of glad when she got rid of her garden because I was constantly stuck with plums, cherries, apricots and apples that I couldn't use fast enough.

Yours looks delicious. I'd never had plum cake before moving here and now I have to say I look forward to fall and it being plum season.

 
At September 19, 2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Ginnie said...

Plum cake? Hmm. Must be a European thing but I'm not sure why. We certainly have them in the States. Someone in Michigan or Georgia probably makes it all the time but I've never heard of it. You sure take the cake, Christina, when it comes to your cooking/baking skills. Bravo to you!

 
At September 19, 2006 11:45 AM, Blogger Lady Liberty said...

Zwetschgen, I was told by an IL that was in the pastery business are different that Pflaumen. What the difference is only the experts know and they aren't telling. We call them Zwetschgen down here, too. They were early this year I think.

 
At September 19, 2006 9:23 PM, Blogger Christina said...

My husband is so jealous, Pflaumenküchen is his absolute favorite and he has yet to find any bakery in the east that makes it "right".

 
At September 22, 2006 4:23 PM, Blogger Berlinbound said...

I didn't know there were this many plums on the planet!

 
At October 01, 2006 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother passed away this weekend at age 90. She brought many wonderful German traditions to our family and often made this same cake when we were children. It was a huge favorite. Sadly we have lost the recipe. It would be wonderful if you would post the recipe to your site so we could all enjoy it again. Thank you! Danka!

 

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