Food & Drink

German plum tart (zwetschgenkuchen)

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons cold water

Filling (see recipe)

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

In bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon peel and mace.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

In small bowl, mix egg and water; stir into flour mixture.

(Alternatively, dough can be mixed in food processor. Use quick on-and-off pulses to cut in butter and again to add egg-water mixture only until mixture becomes crumbly.)

Gather pastry into a ball; knead 5 or 6 times in bowl with lightly floured hands.

Press dough evenly on bottom and up side of ungreased 10- or 11-inch tart or springform pan, depending on how thin you like the crust. (If you use a smaller springform, you may have extra filling.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare filling ingredients.

Sprinkle half the sugar-flour-cinnamon mixture into pastry. Place plum halves cut side down and overlapping slightly in pastry-lined pan.

(Or, for more elegant presentation, fan plum slices in concentric circles in pan with a half plum in the center.)

Sprinkle remaining sugar-flour-cinnamon mixture on top. Sprinkle almonds over filling.

Bake in preheated oven until pastry is golden brown and plums are bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

Filling:

2 pounds purple or red plums (Italian plums are the classic)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Halve plums and remove pits. (You should have about 5 cups.)

For a more elegant presentation, cut each plum half — except one — into 6 wedges.

In bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.

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