This sheet tart (in Bavarian: Zwetschgendatschi) is so juicy and tastes both sweet and sour. It’s the perfect autumn tart! Top it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or enjoy it just as it is – you will love it either way!
Bavarian Plum Sheet Tart Recipe
Until recently, this tart was a faint memory from my childhood. You see, we had a plum tree in the garden of my childhood home and I loved to harvest the plums. I have very early memories of climbing on that tree and fetching plums, and of transporting them with my little wooden truck. And then my mum always made a Bavarian plum sheet tart from part of the harvest and froze the rest (the ones us kids didn’t eat immediately) for later use.
Now, the plums I use for this tart are not your typical plums. The regular plums are either black, red or yellow. Their fruit flesh is sweet and juicy and it is quite hard to separate the pit from the flesh.
The plums I use here are what we call Zwetschgen in Bavaria. I guess you might know them as Italian plums or Italian prunes. They are quite dark on the outisde (almost black) and the inside is more of a green-yellow. They are small and egg-shaped and narrow at the ends. And the flesh is semi-firm and dense and has sweet-sour taste. A big advantage is that the pit separates easily from the flesh. And they have a low water and a high sugar content which makes them perfect for baking!
This kind of plum tart is very typical here in Bavaria and comes in different shapes and forms with the most common one being a sheet cake. Zwetschgendatschi is a very traditional cake that is typically eaten around this time of the year when these kinds of plums are in season. And I guess every family has their own recipe. This one is my attempt to re-create my mum’s version. She passed away a few years ago and I never knew her recipe but this one comes very close to what I remember her tart tasting like. And I sure missed it because it’s always been one of my favorite cakes in the world!
What I love about this particular tart is that the dough is quite thin and soaks up all the lovely juices of the plums while they’re baking. It turns out SO flavorful and juicy that way!!
So first you need to make your dough. Cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and then add the dry ingredients. It’s really quite straightforward. It will be quite the sicky dough so make sure to flatten it as much as you can on your baking tray using your hands!
Now in order to make this tart, you need to pit a LOT of plums. But the good thing is that with these kinds of plums, that’s quite a quick job. Layer them all out with the open side up on your dough and really fill up that space! Then bake it the oven. Mmmmmhhhh that smell in your house will make you drool…
My favorite way of eating this tart is with a big dollop of whipped cream on top. Yum!! But you could also have it topped with vanilla ice cream or enjoy it just as it is. So good either way! Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top – that’s the best way to eat it.
Will you be baking this sheet tart now that plums are still in season? Or how about making my Healthy Cherry Almond Cake?
Bavarian Plum Sheet Tart
This sheet tart is so juicy and tastes both sweet and sour. It's the perfect autumn tart! Top it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or enjoy it just as it is - you will love it either way!
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F). Cover a small baking tray with parchment paper.
In a bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar with an electric handheld mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until all is well mixed.
In another bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until just mixed.
Put onto a the baking tray and flatten completely with your hands. The dough will be quite sticky.
Wash the Italian plums, make a slit into them and take out the pit. Do NOT cut them all the way through!
Layer the plums onto the flattened dough. Make sure to fill all the spaces.
Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Enjoy!