Plum Kuchen

Mary Ann Esposito

SERVES 16 TO 20

Glistening slices of scarlet red plums soaked in sweet Marsala wine snuggle together atop this wonderful kuchen, which will please a crowd at brunch or afternoon tea. To have the kuchen warm and waiting for friends, macerate the plums a day ahead and refrigerate. Make the dough, let it rise until almost doubled in size, place it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate it.

The next morning, put the dough in a bowl and let it come to room temperature and rise again, then assemble the kuchen and bake.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds red or purple plums (10 medium), halved, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup sweet Marsala wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 recipe Simply Sweet Dough
1/4 cup currant jelly, melted

DIRECTIONS

Place the plums in a large shallow glass dish and pour the wine over them. Gently toss the slices in the wine with a spoon. Cover the dish and let the plums macerate for at least several hours, or overnight.

Lightly brush a 17 1/2-inch by 11 1/2-inch baking pan with one tablespoon of the melted butter and set aside.

Dust a work surface lightly with flour and sprinkle the lemon zest over the flour. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto the work surface. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky, evenly incorporating the zest as you knead.

Roll the dough out into an 18- by 14-inch rectangle and fit it into the baking pan, bringing the dough up along the sides and fitting it into the pan. Brush the dough with the remaining melted butter.

Drain the plum slices, reserving the wine.

Make seven or eight overlapping lengthwise rows of plum slices on top of the dough, pressing the slices slightly into the dough. Drizzle the reserved wine over the top of the slices. Cover the kuchen with a clean towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Bake the kuchen on the middle oven rack for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges of the dough have browned and a knife inserted into the center of the kuchen comes out clean.

Remove the kuchen to a rack. With a pastry brush, glaze the top of the kuchen with the melted jelly. Let the kuchen cool slightly, then cut it into squares and serve warm.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

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