Zwetschgenkuchen (zwet-shen-koo-ken) is a plum flan from Germany. It is unlike most other fruit flans in that the pastry and the plums are baked together. Serve it either hot or cold with Creme a la Vanille or ice-cream. Blue plums are nearly always used in German cooking, but other varieties of plums may be substituted.

1 X 9-inch Flan Case, made with rich shortcrust pastry, uncooked

2 lb. blue plums, halved and stones removed

6 oz. castor sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 oz. slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C). Place the flan case on a baking sheet.

Arrange the plum halves decoratively, cut sides down, on the flan case and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the plums. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the flan for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the plums are tender.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the almonds over the plums and serve the flan at once if you are serving it hot, or set aside to cool completely if serving cold.

An excellent dessert to serve on any occasion Zwetscligenkacken is trad-itionally made with small blue plums but if these are not available other varieties may be used instead.

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