August is prune time! It’s a beautiful time to take long walks through the lush and green fields of Brandenburg, the federal state that surrounds Berlin. When strolling through the fields you will be able to pick prunes and other fruits from the many fruit trees. Actually, it’s a favorite pastime of locals. They often sell the fruit, as well as homemade jams and chutneys, at roadside stands and at Sunday markets for almost nothing. I bought Zwetschgen, damsons, a small prune variety that is popular in Europe. I also bought the bigger more regular French plums. Together with apricots and cherries they make a wonderful fruit filling for the typical German Streuselkuchen, a cake with a crumble topping. Obviously, you can also bake this cake with one plum variety instead of two.
Dessert, Serves 8
Action Time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes oven time
3.5 oz/100 g butter, softened
5 tbsp honey
8.8 oz/250 g sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
juice & grated zest of 1/2 lemon
14 oz/400 g self-rising flour (or 14 oz/400 g all purpose flour mixed with 2 tsp baking powder)
For the filling and topping:
1 kg prunes, cherries, apricots (weight with stone in)
3.5 oz/100 g flour
3.5 oz/100 g cold butter, diced
3.5 oz/100 g brown sugar
1.75 oz/50 g ground or finely chopped blanched almonds
Extra: rectangular baking dish (approx. 8 x 12 inch/20×30 cm), greased and lined with baking paper
1. Preheat the oven to 360 F/180 C. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the honey. Beat in the eggs one at a time, than add the sour cream, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the flour (or flour mixture) in additions and beat until combined; you’ll have a slightly elastic and sticky ball. Leave to rest under a cloth while you prepare the filling and the topping.
2. Destone all the washed fruit, slice or quarter the plums, halve the cherries.
3. For the topping, put all the ingredients in a bowl, and rub it between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Press the sticky dough ball into the prepared baking dish. Cover with the fruit and sprinkle the crumble topping over. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, and leave to cool before serving.