With their refreshing tart and sweet flavors and their high vitamin and mineral content, fresh fruits and berries are perfect summer snacks. Capturing that heady burst of summer flavor is a favorite pastime in Germany as it is in North America. Whether through baked goods, compotes, or preserves, Germans and Americans alike share a fondness for desserts made from fresh berries and fruit, and classic German preserves, jams and jellies. Here are some of our favorites:
This is a traditional dessert of marinated berries and fruits soaked in rum that’s served during the cold season in Germany. Although it’s easy to make, it takes several months before it is actually ready to eat. So, ideally you should start making your Rumtopf in late summer or early fall in order to enjoy it during winter holidays. To make it in the classic German style it is best to purchase a large stoneware Rumtopf jar that is slightly porous. You will also need a dark cool place in which to store it while the fruit ferments.
Summer berries are the essential ingredients in the classic Kaltschale (cold summer dish) known as Rote Grütze. Served with a spoonful of quark, vanilla pudding, or vanilla ice cream, this makes for a healthy, refreshing dessert during the summer months and early fall. Any selection of berries can be used, but at least one of them should have a tart taste, and red currants are a must. Plumi (or Plum) Moos Dried plums are used in another Kaltschale dish known as Plumi (or Pluma) Moos, a recipe that brings back many memories for American Mennonite families.
Plum Cake and Cherry Pie
Use summer fruits to make tempting baked desserts such as Zwetschgenkuchen (Plum cake), Kirsch Streusel Kuch (cherry streusel cake), Erdbeerstrudel (strawberry strudel) and more. Try our recipes for Black Forest cake, forest berry tiramisu and apple pastry with rosehip cream. You’ll find even more recipes for baked desserts with fruit collected on our Summer Cake Madness page.
Germany’s passion for fruit and berries is also evident in the wide variety of fruit preserves and jams. Of course there’s strawberry, blueberry and blackberry, but Germany also produces preserves from a variety of colder climate berries including gooseberries (Stachelbeere), rosehips (Hagebutte), seabuckthorn (Sanddorn), elderberry (Holunderbeere), red and black currants (Johannisbeere), lingonberries (Preiselbeere), and aronia berries (Aronia). Visit The Taste of Germany to find these and other sweet spread, and enjoy a “fruitful” summer!