Deconstructed Bavarian Zwetschendatschi – or a plum and vanilla crumble
I love trying out new recipes and inventing dishes, but more often than not, they aren’t quite as adventurous as they could be. So when my friend and I decided to do a “modern Bavarian” themed dinner party, I realised this was my chance. The other participants were taking care of starters and mains, so my challenge was dessert!
And so, after a lot of asking around, I decided I would take the classic Bavarian dessert, Zwetschgendatschi (a plum cake), and make a deconstructed version of it. I was inspired by this recipe by Wilde Orchard, but made a few changes, namely adding Semmelbrösel for a Bavarian flair, and adjusting some of the quantities to my liking. What makes this a standout dish is the fresh vanilla (try not to substitute for essence, if you can), the gorgeously sweet plums, and the crunchy crumble. In theory, this recipe is enough for 8 servings, but watch out, as that means no room for seconds!
Ingredients ∣ Makes 8 servings
For the plums
- 8 plums, halved with stone removed
- 20g butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
For the crumble
- 200 g plain or all purpose flour
- 60g Semmelbrösel (breadcrumbs)
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 170g butter, cubed
- 150g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped (I dry roasted them for 5-10 minutes in a frying pan)
For the vanilla sauce
- 1/2 pod vanilla, seeds scraped
- 3 egg yolks
- 35 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 300 ml milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Place the plum halves into a roasting tin – cut side up.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the scraped vanilla seeds. Add the honey and sugar and combine.
- Pour the honey mixture evenly over the plums and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Mix all the crumble ingredients together. Fill the mixture into a baking tin and bake for around 20 minutes, checking and stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Let cool.
- For the vanilla sauce, whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a small bowl.
- In a saucepan, let the milk and vanilla slowly come to a boil (I used the vanilla seeds but also threw the pod into the milk for extra flavour). Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, if you added it.
- Pour the milk over the egg mixture, slowly, and steadily whisking, so that the egg doesn’t scramble.
- Pour the entire mixture back in the pan (after you have cleaned it and gotten rid of any milk bits). Whisk gently on medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
- Arrange in glasses / glass jars / bowls – I started with a layer of sauce, then crumble, then a plum half and a bit of its juices, a bit more sauce, and then garnished with a sprig of mint.