When you start seeing the first slices of Zwetschgendatschi or Bavarian Plum Tart in the bakeries of Munich, it is a sure sign that we have reached the last, hottest month of summer.
The smell of sweet, baked prune plums, dusted with a little cinnamon sugar wafting through the air is completely irresistible, and something I look forward to every year!
Sitting outside one of Munich’s famous cafes, battling the late summer wasps who want to snack on your Zwetschgendatschi as as much as you do, is a true Bavarian summer ritual.
What is Zwetschgendatschi?
Zwetschgendatschi is a traditional Bavarian baked tart. It has a sweet base topped with sliced plums, which point up like little sails.
The recipe varies depending on exactly where you are in Bavaria. Sometimes it will be topped with buttery crumble or streusel, and there is a lot of argument about whether the base should be made from pastry or yeast dough (hefeteig).
Today I am sharing my favourite variation, where the plums sit atop a tender sweet pastry (murbteig) and are topped with nothing more than a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
This is a wonderfully simple and old fashioned treat, perfect for serving up with a big bowl of whipped cream and strong coffee, and my easy recipe is super simple to make at home.
What sort of plums are used to make Zwetschgendatschi?
This tart is traditionally made with prune plums or ‘Zwetschge‘. These aren’t always easy to come by, so if you can’t get them then ordinary smallish plums or apricots work well in this recipe too.
To make a traditional Zwetschgendatschi you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Butter, sugar, eggs, flour and salt: To make a simple sweet pastry base. I always recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Prune plums: These oval shaped plums are slightly green coloured when cut into and should come easily away from the stone. You’ll often find them in farmer’s markets. You can substitute them of other small plums, but make sure they are not too juicy!
- Breadcrumbs: These soak up all the extra plum juice to ensure you don’t end up with the dreaded soggy bottom.
- Cinnamon sugar: For dusting the finished tart with.
How to make Zwetschgendatschi
- First, prepare the dough my combining the butter, sugar, egg, salt and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift over flour and baking powder, then stir to form a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill while you prepare the plums.
- Next, heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and wash , halve and de-stone the plums. Cut a slit through each plum half from base to tip, leaving them just attached at the base.
- When the plums have been prepared and the oven is hot, roll the chilled dough out on a sheet of baking parchment paper to fit a baking dish roughly 25x35cm or roughly the size of a quarter sheet pan.
- Lift the dough into the baking dish and top with rows of plums, each row overlapping the next like roof tiles. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the plums are golden and slightly scorched.
- When the tart is cooked, dust with cinnamon sugar, allow to cool, then slice and serve with plenty of whipped cream!
Zwetschgendatschi will keep in the fridge for a couple of days but is best eaten within about 48-72 hours.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I like my Zwetschgendatschi with streusel or on a yeast dough base! How do I make it like that?
I can’t get prune plums! What else can I use?
Normal plums will work as well, as long as they are relatively small. You can also use apricots to make a delicious tart. Brush with hot apricot jam when it comes out of the oven.
How do I store Zwetschgendatschi?
I keep mine in the fridge, but you need to allow it to come up to room temperature before eating.
What dish should I bake Zwetschgendatschi in?
In the pictures below I am using a stone baking dish from Pampered Chef (I love it!) which was a gift from my aunt. However, any baking dish with a slight rim will do.
Looking for more German BAking Recipes?
- 100g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 50g (4 Tbsp) white sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 200g ( 1 + ¼ cups) plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1kg (2 lb.) prune plums
- 1 Tbsp breadcrumbs
for the cinnamon sugar:
- 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- whipped cream
- MAKE THE PASTRY: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat the butter, sugar, egg, salt and lemon zest until well combined. Sift over the flour and baking powder and stir gently to form a soft dough. If the dough is very wet or sticky, add a little flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth and supple. Wrap in clingfilm and chill while you prepare the plums.
- PREPARE THE PLUMS: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Wash the plums, halve them and remove the stones. Take the dough from the fridge and roll out on a piece of lightly floured baking paper to the size of your baking dish, I suggest approx. 25cm x 35cm or a ¼ sheet pan.
- LAYER THE PLUMS: Use the baking paper to lift the dough into the baking dish, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, then arrange the plums on top. The technique is to cut a slit through the middle of each plum half from base to stem end leaving them just barely attached. Line the plums up in rows, resting each new row vertically on the last. See pictures if you are unsure.
- BAKE: Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the plums are golden yellow and slightly scorched and the pastry is firm. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar by stirring the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- DUST WITH CINNAMON SUGAR: When the Zwetschgendatschi is cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
- SERVE: Allow to cool then slice and serve with plenty of whipped cream.
Imperial and cup measurements are approximate. For best and most accurate results I use and recommend an inexpensive digital kitchen scale like the one below.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 10gSugar: 58gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
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