Plum season

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August 2013 030I love that as in Germany of all the seasons have a specific mood. The autumn for instance is not only signifies the beginning of the school year and the beer festivals, but also the season of the plum, pumpkin and the mushroom. Until I was just a transit passenger in Germany I did not notice that the Germans like the plum as much as we Hungarians. From middle of July the bakeries’ counters have already filled with tons of plum cakes since the official season of the plum begins from the middle of the summer and lasts to the end of October. So traveling crosswise in Germany soon I became a big fan of certain plum cakes.

Plum city

In the German speaking countries plum cake is known as a summer cake and in the various regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, usually referred to by proper names. In Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, it is known as Quetschekuche, in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and parts of Austria as a plum, in the Rhineland and the Eifel it is under the name Prummetaat or Prommetaat known. “Dachi” probably derives from the Upper and Middle German word “Dechen” or “dacha”, which can be translated as “paw” “Push” (the plums are pressed into the dough). In its original version is without the plum crumble served.

The Augsburg lay claim to having invented the plum. It is considered a culinary delicacy in the city, according to the original recipe of baked pastry. For its sake, the city is nicknamed Datschiburg. It also means that the same plum in the form and appearance to the Augsburg city arms, the Arolla pine.

In the Pfalz and Rheinhessen eat plum cake with potato soup or vegetable soup as a main dish for lunch (with Grumbeersupp Quetschekuche). In Saarland, however, bean soup with plum cake is a popular combination (Bibbelschesbohnesupp Quetschekuche) is.

The cake is made of leavened dough or puff pastry, which is laid on a baking sheet and spread thin with halved and pitted prunes (a subspecies of the plum).

Prune cake 007German prune pie

3 to 4 cups Italian  prunes, stones removed

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup water or  fruit juice

1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking  powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold  shortening

1/2 cup cold milk

Sugar

Preheat oven to  375°F.

Cut-up prunes into a  saucepan and sprinkle all over with 2/3 cup sugar and allspice; stir in water or  fruit juice. Simmer until thick; let cool.

Pie Shell: Sift together flour, baking powder, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar,  and salt; cut in shortening. Add cold milk and form a ball.  Roll dough into a  1/2-inch thick round and line a deep pie plate with dough.
Fill pastry with prunes mixture; sprinkle prunes with a little sugar.  Bake 45  to 60 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream.

Streusel: In baking and pastry making, streusel is a crumb topping of butter, flour, and white sugar (traditional German) that is baked on top of muffins, breads, and cakes (e.g. Streusel kuchen). Some modern recipes add various spices and occasionally chopped nutmeats. Although the topping is of German origin, it is sometimes referred to as Danish or Swedish. The term is also sometimes used for rich pastries topped with, or mixed with streusel.

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