Monday, December 7, 2015

Plum Pastries with Spiced Streusel

The name of these individual German pastries in German is Streuseltaler (translation: "streusel coins") The base is a yeasted cake which cradles an abundance of streusel crumbs and glaze and/or fruits.

What I love about making these pastries is the possibilities are endless. The flavor can be easily switched up in both the filling and the streusel by adding different spices, nuts and fruits.

When I said goodbye to Germany over 4 years ago and moved back to the states, a streuseltaler was my farewell pastry. A recipe for the classic version with and without jam can be found here

These are my favorite German pastry simply because they are huge and are topped with tons of streusel and glaze. The streusel to cake ratio is everything. 

This fancier riff is a holiday upgrade, a gorgeous fresh plum version with a cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon scented streusel for your holiday dessert table. 

This is a great make-ahead recipe. When stored in a closed container, they will keep fresh for up to 2 days.

Plum Pastries with Spiced Streusel

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 14 minutes 
Dough Rise Time: 55 minutes 
Yield: 12-14 pastries
  • 4 cups plus 2+1/2 cups of all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sticks (one cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark variety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1+1/2 lbs fresh ripe plums 
  • 9 ounces plum preserves
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Make the yeasted cake base:
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup white granulated sugar and the teaspoon of salt. Make an impression in the middle of the mixture. 
  • Cut 4 tablespoons of the butter into small pieces. 
  • Beat one of the eggs lightly in a small bowl. 
  • Warm the milk over stovetop on a low flame or in the microwave until lukewarm. Stir the yeast into the warm milk. 
  • When the yeast is bubbling, pour the yeast milk into the impression in the dry ingredients. 
  • Add the unsalted butter pieces, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and the lightly beaten egg. 
  • Knead the ingredients into a smooth dough. Alternately you can use the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook to knead the dough. 
  • Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let stand in a warm place for 45 minutes. 
Make the spiced streusel:
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining 2 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom powders and salt. 
  • Whisk in the firmly packed brown sugar. 
  • Cut the remaining one stick (half a cup) plus four tablespoons unsalted butter in pieces and add to the bowl. 
  • Add the remaining teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. 
  • Beat the remaining egg slightly and add it to the other ingredients in the bowl. 
  • Rub the mixture between your hands or use a fork to mix the ingredients together to form a streusel. 
Assemble the pastries:
  • Wash the fresh plums and pat dry. 
  • Halve the plums, cut out the pits and cut each half into wedges. 
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Remove the yeasted dough from its warm place. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and knead for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Roll out the dough and use a 4 inch round cutter to create circles and lay the circles down on the lined baking sheets. 
  • Use a pastry brush to coat each dough circles with plum jam leaving a small frame around the edge of a bit less than 1/2 an inch. 
  • Arrange the fresh plum slices over the top of the jam on each dough circle. 
  • Divide the streusel evenly over the plum pieces. Let the pastries stand for 10 minutes. 
Bake and Finish:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Bake the pastries for 12-14 minutes, until the streusel and the edges of the pastries turn golden brown. Remove from oven and use a spatula to immediately transfer the pastries to a cooling rack. 
  • Sprinkle each plum pastry with powdered sugar. Arrange on a decorative platter and serve. 

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