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Aug 8, 2005 04:15 PM

Plum kuchen (with streusel) results

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Back in June, Junie D posted a recipe for German plum cake and I've been waiting patiently for prune plums to appear at the markets. Yeah, it's time! Also made plum stuffed dumplings based on an older recipe posted by Katerina.

This one is a yeast cake so it requires a couple hours for dough rising and some kneading. It's fun to see if the yeast will work its magic properly and I love the lively smell of yeasty dough in the kitchen. I don't own a big KitchenAid mixer and just used a big mixing bowl, wooden spoon, and the heel of my hand. Thankfully it worked out fine-I usually choke on the kneading part.

I love streusel so I added that topping over the plums instead of the original sugar/cinnamon/melted butter mixture. It's taken from the same recipe in the Time LIfe book (Streuselkuchen).

One problem: when the cake was finished (as determined by the toothpick test), the streusel was still a little raw & flour-y looking. Removed the cake from the oven, cranked up the heat on the broiler and carefully browned the topping that way (IIRC this was discussed last week by Carb Lover & Nooodles, along with kitchen blowtorches). Worked great.

The results were pretty tasty. It's not a very sweet cake and suitable in the AM or for an afternoon coffeebreak. I liked the crumbly/dusty texture of the topping with the sweet & tangy plums. The cake's texture seemed to gain a drier quality from the yeast, a combo of stretchy & crumbly-it's not a super moist style cake.

Pflaumenkuchen (based on the recipe as restated by Junie D from Time Life Foods of the World series-Germany)
1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 egg
2 egg yolks
3 to 3 and 1/2 cups flour
6 T softened butter
about 3 pounds plums, halved and pitted

2 sticks of butter, cut into smallish pieces & chilled
2 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 c melted butter
Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in the water. Stir in milk and lemon zest.
In a large bowl mix the 1/3 cup sugar, egg and yolks. Add the yeast mixture. Add the flour, a cup at a time, beating until you form a soft dough. Add the softened butter, a tablespoon at a time.
Knead for about 10 minutes (I usually do it in the KitchenAid mixer). Put dough in a buttered bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375. Butter an 11 x 17 jelly roll pan (or regular cake pan).

Combine all streusel ingredients (except melted butter) in a bowl. Quickly rub together until it resembles coarse meal and put back in the fridge.
Punch dough down then stretch or roll it out to fit the pan.
Arrange the plums, cut side up, in rows covering the dough. Sprinkle evenly with streusel mixture and then melted butter.
Bake for about 45 minutes until dough is cooked and plums are oozing and caramelized (test cake part with a toothpick until it comes out clean). If the topping looks too pale, finish browning under the broiler.



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  1. Looks great! I love this kind of cake. Thanks for the recipe, and I applaud your decision to add streusel topping.

    Now I'm hungry...

    1. That looks heavenly. I love streusel w/ anything...I like brown sugar in mine.

      1. Gorgeous picture and thanks for the reminder - I'm off the the Farmers' Market now to look for the plums. I bet the streusel is delicious, of course streusel is by definition delicious, but I also really like the original (TL recipe) for how the plums look lined up, deep purple, and browned and chewy at the edges.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Junie D

          Oh yeah, I can see how using the streusel is like throwing a blanket over the plums and you get more softened fruit and less of their caramelized magic. Hmm. Next time I'll try the streusel on a rhubarb cake and leave my plum cake au natural. Thanks for the feedback Junie D.

        2. really old post i know! i'm making this now (trying to recreate one my grandmother used to make around thanksgiving, as a treat for my mother). I forgot to add the butter to the dough...and already kneaded it. I feel like this recipe is already a bit "spiffied up" compared to what my grandmother would have made...and i'm telling myself that as something similar to a sweet pizza dough, the butter is unnecessary. I'll post results.