Sunday, September 19, 2010

German Plum Tart - FLA la la la la

This tart has many names depending where in Germany you live. Pflaumenkuchen in some places. In Bavaria it's called zwetschgendatschi.Here in our corner of Nordrein Westphalia, it's called Pflaumenfladen and in our region it's just shortened to "Fla."

We have three gorgeous plum trees on our property. The Mirabelles are over now but we still have these little late summer purple prune plums, or zwetschgen aplenty. So this will be the first of a few plumcentric posts until the end of the month.

My mother in law, Fine was making several of these tarts so I got all up in her baking business to "help". Of course, she really doesn't need my help. She has been making this treat for the last 60 odd years. I was just using "helping" as an excuse to learn from the master plum tart maker in the family.

The day before I had done my harvest penance and dragged out the ladder to pick the ones near the tops of the trees she could not reach with the picker.  This turned into a comedy of sorts. As I was grabbing the branches to pull the plums off, several would fall to the ground. Fine would go around with her bucket picking up the ones that dropped and the minute she had her back turned, Lucy the sheep and Rosalie the dwarf goat would each snatch a plum out of the bucket to scarf down.

Plum Thieves

After some instruction from Fine, I put myself in charge of properly slicing the plums. They are cut in a way to make them stand up to attention on the tart. You slice from the stem all the way around and then crosswise in the other direction but only half way down the plum.

As I worked, Fine entertained me with family stories. Her mom was a cook for a family and Fine grew up in the kitchen at her knee. What really blew me away was the 100 year old pan she has and still uses which was passed down from her step grandmother, whose maiden name is Dreissen. Fine showed me the D molded into the bottom of the pan.

I can't even begin to imagine how many plum tarts have been made in this pan

For Fine's recipe for Vla or Plum Tart hop on over to my German Food Page at


  1. What a lovely way to spend the day. The tart sounds amazing.

  2. So pretty, I love how it looks a bit wild! I can't remember the last time I ate a plum but I guess it is time to give them another go.

  3. Ooh, we're coming up to plum season over here soon! The sight of those gorgeous wedges of plum poking from the top of the tart has got me craving them right now!

  4. Lovely post Lora. I tried making Pflaumenkuchen once, but not having a German relative to show me how, I wasn't sure if the end result was actually correct :) Mine ended up with a pillowy brioche like base and a thin layer of plums on top. Looking at your pics, I think it should have been the other way around. Thanks for sharing and I'm definitely trying again when plum season gets here.

  5. I've been searching for a similar recipe to my mother's. She made wonderful Plum Cake and after buying some wonderful plums today, I started craving her cake. It finally dawned on me that it might be a German recipe (she was German) and fa la la la la, you're recipe sounds like it might be it. Can't wait to try it out.


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