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Friday, September 27, 2013

Pflaumenkuchen mit Streusel bedeckt

Plum Cake covered with Streusel.

Growing up in a small village in East Germany, it was my job to take our unbaked cake to the local bakery.  A slip of paper, with our name on it,  would be attached to the cake pan.  A few hours later our cake was ready.  Saturday was the only day that the entire town could take their unbaked cakes to the bakery.
  The Baker didn't need his large oven until Sunday night.  

A few years ago, while traveling in Portugal, we followed
wonderful smells in a small village on a Sunday morning.  Not knowing Portuguese I thought for a minute that the Baker just didn't understand what we wanted.  He kept showing us different dishes and shaking his head.  Then it dawned on me that the very same custom was being observed in Portugal,  as it had been in my little farm village.  

So many smiles and so many handshakes followed... but no Sunday Meal. 

I could never resist unbaked Streusel and would eat a few on the way to the Baker, not many, because my Mother would know. 

Now that my own plums are ripe I can bake Pflaumenkuchen with lots of  Streusel on top.  If I sneak a few Streusel before the cake is baked no one will be the wiser.  But a good Pflaumenkuchen must have plenty of Streusel on top. 

Plum Cake, use your own yeast recipe or follow the one listed below.  
Simple Yeast Dough
1 pkg of dry yeast
2 Tb warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 stick of butter (melted) 
3 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg beaten (room temperature) 
2 cups flower
Combine yeast and water in a bowl, let stand for 15 minutes
Add all other ingredients
Turn dough out on board and knead for a few minutes, adding flour as needed.  
Place in bowl and let rise until doubled (about an hour) in size.   

Pit and half about 4 dozen Italian plums (or similar), add a cup of sugar and let  macerate while dough is rising.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Press yeast dough into large and buttered cookie sheet.  Add plums in rows, cut side up and close together.  
Sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar on top of plums (depends on how sweet they are).   Add lots of Streusel on top of cake.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  

Mix 1 stick of UNSALTED butter at room temperature with  1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of  flower. Mix with your hands until crumbly. 

Have a great weekend my dear 
Blogging Friends. 



  1. Dear Gina,

    I got a good laugh at your Pompeian lady with her eye on the streusel! Perhaps that is you in another life.

    Your posting brought back happy memories of my maternal grandmother from Switzerland. Her village also took their cakes and pies to the baker, and that was her job back in the 1890's. As a special treat to her grandchildren, she would make plum tarts as big as large pizzas. How I would like to have one right now!

  2. Dear Mark, The Pompeian Lady represents my Mother who knew the exact numbert of Streusel on the cake. She also knew every flower in her garden and knew when any had been cut.
    Your grandmother knew how to bake a Pflaumenkuchen. I can tell because she baked it on a large "Blech" as big as a large pizza. That is the traditional way of baking Streuselkuchen and Pflaumenkuchen. mit Streusel.
    Why not try my recipe, It is fail proof and will bring back wonderful memories. I'll even send you the plums if you can't find them nearby.

  3. Dear Gina, I must find Italian plums. Sometimes they are available and often I find them already too soft. These photos make my mouth water and next time I will have to use Streusels on top. As always your presentation takes the cake.................Sieglinde

    1. Dear Sieglinde, No doubt you have enjoyed many a Pflaumenkuchen and I know that you bake your own. The streusel really make a difference and to top it off a little Schlagsahne couldn't hurt either, And yes, you are so clever. ox, Gina

  4. Dear Gina - H and I make a plum cake with our plums from the garden following our introduction to it when we stayed in an Austrian hotel close to the German border. I was never sure how to make the top part of the cake - the streusel - now I realise that it is the same as our crumble mix, and in future will be able to add it to the plum cake - thank you Gina.
    Lovely photos showing your rich harvest.

    1. Dear Rosemary, Isn't it wonderful that we have gardens and so many things we can grow so that we can enjoy some of the fine delicacies from around the world. The crumble mix will also work well for apples instead of plums.

  5. Awe, I have never heard of the sweet custom for cake baking and yet it certainly makes sense and the whole town, must be very hungry from the wonderful fragrances of so many different cakes baking. Your strussel cake sounds yummy~

    1. Hi Mary, In Portugal the town brought their midday meals to be baked. We were so disappointed that we couldn't partake of what must have been one meal better than the next.

  6. Oh Gina, before I begin to comment about how much I like this streusel post, I must return to the tale of Hansel and Gretel. I shared your tale of the geese stranded in the alfalfa field with two work colleagues, and one of them actually got a bit teary-eyed. I assure you and H & G, too, that I know of some folks in NYC who are really happy that the rescue had a happy ending.

    Now...on to streusel. Somehow, I'd never before cottoned onto your having your own European background. I must have missed some important posts along the way. Your streusel recipe is one that I do intend to try. I love your childhood reminiscence and will think of you when I do get around to pre-heating my oven, and getting those delicious baking aromas to begin to spread through my little apartment.

    Many thanks! This is one of those times when I really do realize how enriching blogging can be.


    1. Dear Frances, I agree with you, blogging is enriching. Hansel and Gretel are acting as if they have lived here for many years. They are so at home and are investigating every secret spot around the pond.
      I do hope that you will try this plum cake. If you can't find plums, apples will be a good substitute. Let me know how it turns out.
      Oh, my European background...my Mother, Father and Sister and I emigrated to the United States in 1956. It was the best decision my parents made for us. I am grateful to this country for having giving us this incredible opportunity. .

  7. Hi Gina - thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a delightful, helpful comment, AND becoming a follower. In turn, I have 'found you', your amazing art, and your home in the country on your colorful, beautiful blog.......immediately I became a follower! I can see I'll be spending much time scrolling back to read/view your former posts - all look enticing.

    Later, when I return from the trip to Europe, I'll definitely try the streusel recipe - love anything baked with plums.

    Re: your question regarding black wool trousers. Personally I no longer buy wool trousers, instead I've gravitated to I.N.C (International Concepts) brand which I get at Macy's. They have excellent medium weight ponte type knits with a bit of comfy stretch in many styles (you can order online if no store near the alfalfa fields!!!!) including narrow legs, flared, trouser style and jeans. I have to admit, all mine were purchased 2-3 years ago so not sure of current styles, however mine have worn so well and still look like new even though I throw them in the washer/dryer. I dislike having to spend a fortune on dry cleaning so, other than my cashmere and merino wool sweaters, and wool Winter coat, I don't send much out to the cleaners.
    You can also check ZARA online - they have some fabulous looking trousers and every else to drape on our bodies!!!
    Hope this helps.

    Again, such fun to meet you Gina.
    Hugs - Mary

    1. Dear Mary, How wonderful (for me) that I "found you". We have so much in common. Travel, cooking, gardening, cashmere and flowers. Thank you so much for becoming a new Follower. I knew right away, when I stumbled upon your blog, that I wanted to become part of it. I look forward to reading and admiring your past blog posts. And, I also look forward to following your foot steps while you are visiting Europe.
      Thank you for the ZARA suggestion. It looks like .a promising source. ox, Gina

  8. I loved reading your story!! My parents are Italian immigrants arriving here in 1928, my mother often told of bringing cakes, desserts and bread to be baked in the big ovens in the town where she lived. I treasure all those stories.....what stories will our children treasure???

    1. Hello Sweet Violets, While traveling in Europe I still see so many old world customs still being observed. It is wonderful to see the interaction between village people. There is the visiting, the coffee drinking , the gossiping, the old men sitting at their favorite hangout, all wearing the same clothes. And grandfathers taking their little ones for walks, both with hands clasped behind their backs.

  9. Gina, that Plum Cake looks SO delicious! And your memory of the baker sharing his oven is lovely...

    1. Hello Madge, So glad you stopped by for a visit. Wishing you a great week ahead.