Plum Yeast Tarte (Zwetschgendatschi)

Today, I’ve found the first Zwetschgen on the market!

Zwetschgen (sometimes also called Zwetschen or Zwetschken) are a kind of plums that are traditionally used for German and Austrian baking and sweet dishes. Zwetschgen are usually smaller than “normal” plums and not as round but rather oval.  That’s how they look:

They are especially good for baking since they have a firmer flesh, you can remove the stone more easily and they do not leak as much juices when baking as the normal plums do. If you find them, choose the firmer, not yet overripe ones for baking, they have a nice tanginess and do not convert your cake into a doughy soup. UPDATE: They are called Italian prune plums in the US.

A Zwetschgendatschi is a tray baked tarte usually made with yeast dough. There are regional recipes made with shortcrust pastry, but the one with yeast dough is definitely better. This is a tarte where, contrary to most yeast dough recipes, the thinner the dough the better. So roll it out as thin as you can (and do not use the smallest baking tray).


Plum Yeast Tarte (Zwetschgendatschi)


1.5 oz / 42 g fresh yeast or 1 sachet dried yeast

1 cup /8 fl oz / 0.25 l milk , lukewarm

2/3 cup / 5 oz / 150 g fine sugar

3 3/4 cups / 18 oz / 500 g all purpose flour

a pinch of salt

1 egg

1 stick / 4.5 oz / 125 g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature

4-5 tablespoons bread crumbs

3 pounds / 1

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,5 kg plums (preferrably Zwetschgen/Italian prune plums), halved and pitted

3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons cinnamon




If using fresh yeast, pour the milk in a bowl and dissolve the yeast in it. Beat in the sugar.  Let rest in a warm environment for about 15 minutes until it begins to foam.

In another bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture or dried yeast and milk, the butter and the egg. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the kitchen machine (knead hook) or 10 minutes by hand. The dough might be sticky in the beginning pizza kurier , but should come off the wall of the mixing bowl or your hands after some time of kneading. If it doesn’t putty download , add a little bit more flour until it does. Knead until smooth elastic.


Cover the bowl with the dough in it with a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm environment for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until it has nearly doubled in size.


Preheat oven to 390° F / 200° C (conventional oven).


Punch back the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to approximately the size of the baking tray you use. Use the deepest baking tray you have available since the plums will exude juices while baking (trust me, cleaning the oven if it spills over isn’t nice).


Either grease the baking tray with butter and flour it or line it with baking parchment. Place the dough on the baking tray; if not exactly fitting the tray yet, use your palms to flatten and stretch the dough until it reaches all the edges. Sprinkle the dough with the breadcrumbs, they will absorb the plum juices (at least partially).  Leave to rise a little bit for 10-15 minutes. Place the plum halves on top of the dough (skin side down) in a matter similar to rooftop tiles.

Sprinkle half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the plums.


Bake at 390° F / 200° C (conventional oven) at the middle rack for about 45 minutes. After taking the tarte out of the oven, sprinkle the rest of the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the tarte. Cool on a rack.

Traditionally served with whipped cream.


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