Pflaumenkuchen (Plum Cake)
This past weekend we went to a party celebrating one of our friends becoming a US citizen. Everyone that came was asked to bring a dish that reflected their ancestral background. My husband Andrew is both Irish and Scottish so to represent his background we brought Irish Guinness Beef Stew and Scottish Millionaire’s Shortbread. My ancestral background is German, so I decided to make this traditional Pflaumenkuchen or Plum Cake. An extremely popular sweet yeasted cake that is topped with juicy plums and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar before baking. During late summer/early fall you will find Pflaumenkuchen in many bakeries throughout Germany. This plum cake has many different names depending on what part of Europe you travel to. In Germany, Austria or Switzerland this cake can be called a Quetschekuche, Zwetschgendatschi, Prummetaat or a Zwetschgenkuchen. Whatever name you choose to call this cake, I call it delicious! The cake is usually baked as a thin sheet cake on a large baking sheet, but when I saw this beautiful adaptation baked in a cake pan I had to give it a try. Serve warm topped with a dollop of whipped cream with coffee or tea for an incredible seasonal dessert.
One Year Ago: Beer Bread
Pflaumenkuchen (Plum Cake)
- 1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
- 4 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 and ½ packets of active dry yeast (10 grams)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- pinch of salt
- 2 pounds firm, ripe plums, pitted (6-7 plums)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons apricot jelly
- 1 tablespoon liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees F, shut off.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; add yeast and let rest 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add melted butter, eggs, flour, superfine sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and salt to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on medium-low until thoroughly combined, about 10 minutes
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Cut the plums in half and quarter each half (getting a total of 8 slices per plum). Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and cinnamon. Stir and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Lightly grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan; line bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Press dough into the prepared 9-inch spring-form pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in to cover it completely. Let the cake rest for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then unmold the cake by removing the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula under the cake to loosen, then slide the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is still warm, heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat until completely melted. Remove from heat and add liqueur and stir until combined. Strain mixture through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. Let cool until it is only slightly warm. Brush a light coat on the plums. Let cool completely before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Yields: 14 servings
Source: adapted from Fior di Frolla