As I sit here pondering what to write about this German Plum Spelt Cake I’m watching the cold rain drizzle down and leave little glistening orbs at the end of every needle on the pine tree outside the window. Kitty, as per usual, is tucked up beside me, hell bent on stealing my warmth.
I daydream about warmer afternoons, like those of late Summer when these plump, deep purple plums hung low on our tree, beckoning me to pick them and squish their juicy flesh between my teeth. Last year I had the foresight to slice and freeze a few bagfuls so I could savour the taste of Summer while still waiting for Winter to finish loosening its grip.
When the time came, I knew I would be calling upon my Oma to make this German Plum Spelt Cake with me as it is a recipe she has been making for what seems like forever. Although she more recently has taken to making her plum cake with a softer cake base for the ease of it, I wanted her to show me the way she originally made it all those years ago.
Out came her baking mat of 40 plus years, the rolling pin she’s had since she was 16 and a tall cup with marks up the side written in German to measure the gram weight of things like mehl (flour), zucker (sugar) and milch (milk). Of course this little kitchen adventure included making the dough by hand on the counter while she relayed to me the order in which the ingredients landed there, making each well in the middle as we added more and finally mixing it together with two knives because, well, she didn’t have a pastry blender back in the day.
We mixed, we kneaded, we rolled, topped and baked three large sheet pans worth of this German Plum Spelt Cake that day… and I filmed the whole thing! While the footage is likely quite dull to anyone else, it makes me smile to watch and listen to the memories and stories that arose from her while we baked together. 🙂 When the last pan was still warm from the oven we made tea, sat down for Kaffeestunde and mmm’d and ooo’d together over the deliciousness of what we created.
P.S. This recipe is listed almost entirely in gram weights because I decided to keep it as close to my Oma’s original and traditional way of making it as possible.
P.P.S. Simple kitchen weigh scales are super inexpensive, might want to get one. 😉
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
German Plum Spelt Cake (Pflaumenkuchen mit Mürbeteig)
Shortcrust Pastry (Mürbeteig)
- 454 grams all-purpose, organic spelt flour also called white spelt flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 227 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 227 grams unsalted butter cold
- 50 grams finely ground almonds
- 10 – 12 large Italian prune plums fresh or frozen (pre-sliced in half)
- 60 grams all-purpose, organic spelt flour also called white spelt flour
- 60 grams granulated sugar
- 60 grams coarsely ground almonds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 40 grams unsalted butter cold
- 50 grams sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside. If using fresh plums, wash, slice in half and remove the pits. Set aside. If using frozen, remove them from the freezer and allow to thaw slightly at room temperature while preparing the rest of the recipe.
Make the Streusel
In a large bowl, mix together the spelt flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and sea salt. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Place in the fridge while making the rest of the cake.
Make the Cake
Sift the flour and baking powder together onto a large work surface or baking mat. Create a well in the middle. Pour the sugar into the well and then create another, smaller well in the sugar for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the middle of the sugar. Drizzle the vanilla extract and sprinkle the lemon zest on the sugar around the eggs. Cut the cold butter into small pieces on top of and around the flour.
Using two knives or a pastry blender mix the eggs with the sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest and then continue to combine with the flour and butter. Once the dough begins to form, use your hands to gently fold and press the dough until it is completely combined and smooth (if the dough is too dry to fully come together and an additional tablespoon of butter at a time and continue to gently fold and press).
On a well-floured surface roll out the dough to approximately the same size as the baking sheet. Fold the dough gently into quarters and place it on the baking sheet. Unfold and press the dough out to the edges of the baking sheet creating a border about half way up the sides of the baking sheet (this helps hold all the plum juices in!). Press together any cracks in the dough that may have formed.
Sprinkle the finely ground almonds evenly on the dough. Place the plum halves flesh side up on top. (Optional: sprinkle extra sugar and cinnamon directly onto the flesh of each plum). Sprinkle the streusel and sliced almonds evenly across the entire baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the edges of the dough are golden brown. Remove and let cool in the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
This plum cake freezes well and can be refreshed in the oven by places directly under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minutes after it has fully thawed.