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Aug 12, 2013 05:26 PM

Italian Prune Plums---what to make?

Okay, I have NEVER baked with Italian Prune Plums. It's time to remedy that. Any suggestions for what to make?

Have any of you made any of the following, and if so, can you vouch for them? Or perhaps you have other suggestions?


Italian purple plum cake
from Great Cakes: Over 250 Recipes to Bake, Share, and Enjoy by Carole Walter

Plum torte
from Cooking for Comfort: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes That Are As Satisfying to Cook As They Are to Eat by Marian Burros

Plum crumb cake
from The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies by Nick Malgieri

Tarte aux quetsches, or prune plum tart
from Orangette by Molly Wizenberg and Saveur Magazine

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  1. Haven't made any of those, but...

    On the rare occasion I don't manage to eat all the Italian plums (quetsches) like a ravenous beast (see my icon), I've found they make a stellar stand-in for cherries in a variation of clafoutis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      I've also made that "susine" clafoutis. Lovely, and not too sweet.

    2. Google Pflaumenkuchen for more choices.

      My default recipe for plum tart could not be easier. Make your favorite plain-ish cookie dough. Sugar cookie, oatmeal, gingersnap, whatever. Press it into a pie pan or tart pan.
      Leave peels on the washed plums and cut each into 4 wedges. With the ends of the wedges pointing toward the center of the dough and starting from the outside line them up, skin side down in concentric circles in the pan. You may need to cut up a few of the wedges in order to fit them into the innermost circle. Sprinkle with 1/3 to 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (depending on the sweetness of the fruit and your cookie dough) and bake at 350-375 until juices bubble and thicken, and the crust is brown 30-40 min. If it's browning too fast, wrap aluminum foil over the edges. It's wise to have your pie pan on a sheet pan to catch juices if they bubble over. Once the tart is cool, you can optionally glaze it by brushing melted currant, apple, or quince jelly over it. Serve cold, warm, or room temp.

      This tart can be done with all sorts of fruit. Thickening is optional for plum or apple, but if using berries or really juicy peaches, etc., toss the fruit with cornstarch, arrowroot, or tapioca flour, and sugar, before arranging over the dough.

      3 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        Are Pflaumenkuchen all made with yeasted dough, Greygarious?

        Everyone---thanks for the ideas.

        1. re: soccermom13

          Not necessarily. Kuchen can mean tart or cake, depending on which German you're raised by. The tart I described is something Mom called kuchen.

          1. re: greygarious

            Yes, but the translation is simply: Kuchen = cake

      2. I had some really ones from the farmers market and roasted briefly at a high heat (i dont have a bbq, grilled would have been better) and then i drizzled with a basalmic glaze i made with lots of fresh pepper, served ontop of a simple quinoa/spinach/almonds/ currants cold salad

        1. Plum jam. My grandmother used to make it and I miss it. Found a recipe on line that included Grand Marnier. Pretty sure gramma didn't use that.

          Note to self: Must look for prune plums.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chicgail

            Christine Ferber has two recipes in her book Mes Confitures. One is plain Quetsch plum jam, the second includes pinot noir. I can attest: delicious! Amazing the difference of adding the wine makes.

            1. re: walliser

              Humm, I may have to check that book out of the library. I made plum jam yesterday with just a pinch of cinnamon and it was very, very good. I deliberately left it "loose" rather than too gelled so I can use it as glaze for tarts. I LOVE the rosy color. I froze it instead of water bath processing.

              1. re: walliser

                Walliser, do you have the recipes for either of those plum jams (but especially the the one with the pinor noir)? I would love to have it if you can post it. Otherwise, I suppose I could look for the book...

                1. re: chicgail


                  2 3/4 lbs prune plums, 2 1/4 lbs net
                  1 1/4 cup Alsatian Pinot Noir
                  4 2/3 cups sugar
                  juice of 1 small lemon
                  1 vanilla bean

                  rinse plums in cold water, pat them dry then split lengthwise to remove pit
                  in a nonreactive bowl combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean split lengthwise
                  macerate for an hour, then pour into a pan and bring to a boil for a minute, the pour back into the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight
                  next day bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring gently
                  skim and add the pinot noir, return to a boil for about 5 minutes, stirring gently
                  remove vanilla bean, return to boil and check the set
                  put into jars and seal immediately.

                  Yield is 6 half pint jars.

                  Ms Ferber makes jams in the European fashion: filled boiling hot and sealed immediately without any further processing. It has worked well for me, but you may not feel comfortable with this.
                  While there appears to be a lot of sugar, I never found Ferber's recipes to be overly sweet.

                  If you are thinking about getting the book, here are a couple of points: she uses home made pectin stock (recipes included), makes jam in the European style and recipes use the traditional amounts of sugar.

                  1. re: walliser

                    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

                    I found Italian plums yesterday and can't wait to make this. How critical do you think it is that the pinot noir be Alsatian? I have a couple bottles of the domestic stuff.

                    1. re: chicgail

                      Critical due to the fact that Ms Ferber is from the Alsace. You get the idea...

                      Trust me: any Pinot Noir will be fine! ;-)

                      1. re: walliser

                        dunno about that -- alsatian pinots are very light with delicate fruit aromas, while many american pinots are hot, heavy, fruit bombs.

                2. re: walliser

                  I made the jam but after I added the wine (and I only used 1/2 cup), it got very liquidy. What went wrong?

              2. I just made Pflaumenkuchen/Plum cake yesterday ( and used the extra dough to make a Nutella Roll). It was good! :-)
                I made a simple yeast dough, rolled it out thin, brushed on a bit of softened Butter and layered the fruit.( washed and then cut as in picture) Sprinkled Sugar and Cinnamon on top and baked at 350 degr F 30 min.
                Yeast dough - think Pizza dough, but substitute water with Milk, use Butter instead of Olive Oil, I added a couple of Eggs and a bit of Honey.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RUK

                  This is how my German family always made Plum Kuchen - a rich yeast dough patted thin into a cake tin, then wedges of the plums arranged on top, a little butter, sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon, bake, done. Always a hit.