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Monday, October 15


Let’s declare that I am a terrible, terrible student.  Not only that but I am stubborn too.  When baking, the bottom line is I will do whatever the heck I please, because I can.   

We know from experience that I follow my own method for making something as basic as dough.   

This post shows that I will go as far as compromising pan dimensions (from an Internet search, herein lies A problem, sometimes the Internet tells you exactly what you want to hear or read) to fit my criteria.   

Germans love their Zwetschgenkuchen.  It literally means Plum cake but it's really a Plum tart.  When in season Italian plums sell fast.  So I had to make this before the plums went out of season.  Thankfully, I found a recipe for Zwetschgenkuchen.

In the recipe the author states that a pan the size of 11x7 is required or a round pan of the same size.  I don’t have that large pan but a round one, so what do I do?  Let’s first just state what a normal, logical person would do.  They wouldn’t make the recipe!  I, on the other hand, am convinced I have to make this cake-tart-thing so I find, using the amazing Internet, pan conversion site.  Joy of Baking, a-ha! 
It says a round pan that’s 9 x 1 1/2 inches will fit 6 cups of awesome plum cake-pie-thing, same as the 11 x 7 inch pan.  So I make this recipe.   

After rolling the dough out for the crust, I realize I have way too much dough for the round pan.  I had to halve the dough and re-roll it to fit the round pan.  I had already chopped 1 kilogram of Italian plums at this point so they were halved as well.  

Zwetschgenkuchen (Italian prune plum cake)
Makes 1 large tart or enough for two round tarts

150 grams or 11 tablespoons butter, room-temperature
170 grams or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, room temperature
400 grams or 3 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
100ml or scant 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 kilogram or 2 1/2 pounds Italian prune plums, pitted and cut into sixths
Streusel topping (recipe follows)

Cream butter, and sugar, then add the egg. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and incorporate into the creamed mixture, along with the milk. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.  (Dough keeps 1 week in the refrigerator.)

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place on the bottom of a greased 11 x 7 inch, rectangular pan, (or if you’re feeling daring 9 x 1 1/2 inch round cake pan- this makes two round tarts), pressingly slightly at the edges to build up the sides of the cake.

Layer plum pieces to evenly cover the base.  Sprinkle streusel over top, and then bake at 350°F or 175°C for 35- 45 minutes, depending on the moistness and thickness of your cake and toppings.  (Start checking the tart at 35 minutes.) 

100 grams or 1/2 cup sugar
100 grams or 7 1/2 tablespoons butter
200 grams or 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
pinch of salt

Cream together sugar and butter, then mix in flour and salt.  Streusel can be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to one week.  Press handfuls of the mixture together to form clumps of streusel before scattering over the cake.

Having said all that, I baked one Zwetschgenkuchen with divine results. Although I am laughing at myself for making a foolish mistake, it was worth the effort. 
We have extra dough and plums waiting in the fridge for round 2.  Tragic.

I must state Joy of Baking is very reliable and the author is not to be blamed for my error. 


  1. You crack me up, Krishna! I don't think you're foolish or stubborn ... I think you cook like someone with courage and a desire to eat well, no matter what the circumstances.

  2. I am glad you get a laugh from this. Sometimes I wonder why I do such things but with a delectable result, it's worth "adjusting".

  3. Stubborn? I say "determined". Or "dessert-craving". Or both. Either way, they are positives in my book. Not that you needed another person's opinion :)

    That tart/cake looks so good...I wish I could just hop on a plane right now. I had been craving something "plummy" (that's a technical term) for a while now, and I recently made a grape and plum jam that didn't set for reasons I am not sure of :( So no plummy enjoyment for me yet...

  4. I like determined, thank you! :) I wish you could hop on a plane and come right over as well. We DO have the other half, waiting, for you. How convenient.