Zwetschgen are a special variety of plums. Different to the usual plums, they’re not round but oval and the colour and taste differs as well. In Switzerland they’re very popular – you can buy them frozen all year round and you can find delicious fresh ones during the Swiss Zwetschgen season from August to October. I love them and prefer them to the usual plums. I’m not sure in which other countries you can buy them. I never saw them in my London supermarkets, but the Turkish shops in London sold them in summer, and in the larger Polish supermarkets I found the frozen ones. There’s a lot of delicious things you can make with Zwetschgen, from stews to desserts and I find they go particularly well with cinnamon. Here’s my recipe for Zwetschgen pie. I make it all year round with the frozen ones from the supermarket. Important – don’t defrost the fruit but use it straight from the freezer. If you defrost first they lose all their juice and their shape and the pie ends up soggy and looking messy.
Recipe for plum pie
Either use a shop bought Kuchenteig (pie dough), ideally the 32cm flattened, round one, or prepare your own dough, recipe here.
- 3 tbsp semolina or grated hazelnuts or grated almonds
- roughly 500g Zwetschgen, halved (if you use frozen ones don’t defrost them, use straight from freezer)
- 2dl milk
- 1dl cream
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp sugar
Pre-heat oven at 220 degrees Celsius.
Put a baking parchment onto a round pie tin of 32cm diameter. Put flattened dough onto the parchment. Using a fork, make holes into the dough (this helps for a beautifully crunchy crust).
Spread the semolina or grated nuts evenly onto the dough – this layer is very important as it soaks up the surplus fruit juice while baking. If you don’t put any semolina or nuts underneath the fruit, you’ll end up with a very soggy pie.
Place Zwetschgen on top, cut side up.
In a bowl, mix the milk, cream, egg, cornstarch and sugar together. Pour mixture over the fruit.
Bake for 45 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven (the right temperature and the lowest rack are very important for a crunchy pie crust).
Take out of the oven, let it cool down a little and serve it like this if it’s for a main meal, or if you’re eating it as a dessert you could also add a dollop of whipped cream to make it a bit more indulgent.