As always I am a little bit late with my posts compared to when this dish was actually in season. Plum season ended 3 weeks ago, and I got the chance to raid the last plums in our friends yard and made this original recipe of a German Plum Sheet cake that originates in southern Germany, a town called Augsburg.
Augsburger Zwetschgendatschi (plum cake) is known as a summer cake and is referred to in the various regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.The city of Augsburg lays claim to having invented Zwetschgendatschi. It is regarded as a culinary specialty of the city. It is said that the Augsburger coat of arms reflects the Zwetschgendatschi. (Wikipedia).
I am posting the ingredients in German measurements so that I can keep the traditional recipe and ensure its exactly how my mum bakes it ;-).
You could use the entire dough for just one sheet but it will make a really thick bottom. So I take only 2/3rd of the dough for the sheet and make a second plum cake in a small round springform with the other 1/3rd of dough.
- 500 grams flour
- 1 package dry yeast
- lemon peel from one lemon
- 1/8 – 1/4 liter lukewarm milk
- 100 gram butter (at room temperature)
- 80 gram sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 kilogram plums
- 100 gram hailsugar (see the photo below – very thick round sugar,l if you can’t get it, normal sugar will do)
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon of sugar and let it “bloom” for 10 minutes at a warm place. The yeast should be somewhat bubbly, then you know its activated and good to go.
- Combine the flour, lemon peel, sugar, butter, 1/8 liter of the milk (you can add milk later if the dough is to dry) and then add in the yeast mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms and it loosens easily from the bowl. Allow dough to sit in a warm place until double in volume, approximately 1 hour.
- Grease a baking sheet. Roll out dough to fit the size of the baking sheet. Transfer dough to baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash plums and remove any stems. Slice each in half and remove stones. Don’t cut through the entire plum, you want to cut it first on one side, open it up, remove the stone and then cut each half, so that you have 4 pieces but they are still all tied together (see photo). Arrange plum halves evenly on the dough – plums should not be lying down, instead each row should cover 1/2 of the prior row. Sprinkle plums with 50 grams of the hail sugar.
- Allow cake to sit and rise for another 15 minutes.
- Bake cake for around 20-30 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar and allow to cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream.