Rote Grütze, or Red Grits, with White Wine

By • July 31, 2010 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: Ah, a true comfort food dessert I have tried out with some new twists...but the traditional version is also quite wonderful. This is a northern German dessert with red fruits. Often this is made with currants and berries, but also with plums. One of my versions used plums: an organic cherry plum, santa rosa plums and a few Japanese shira plums. Add cranberries and raspberries for good red fruit contrasts. If you make an all yellow fruit version, then it is Gelbe Grütze. Mirabella and yellow raspberries work well for that. Sapa (http://www.nudo-italia.com/categories/4) and sumac really enhance the flavors of the plums. See my recent recipes for more background on those. You can make this without those and still savor.In larger batches you can also process and can. Canned Rote Grütze makes a great holiday gift. I first had this in the restaurant at KaDeWe in Berlin with my sister. It quickly became a family favorite. Warm plums make a luscious version. Since the first batch that I made was gone so quickly, there has been a cry for more. So I just made another batch adding in some roque blueberries and red raspberries which you can see cooking in the pot of the last photo. Cranberries are great for a festive addition.Sagegreen

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups varietal small sweet plums, depitted
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • a few rogue blueberries can join in
  • 3/4-1 cups organic cane sugar (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (acacia works well) to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (or substitute 1/2 tsp. cloves)
  • 1 stick cinnamon or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons sapa (or substitute 2 tbl.amaretto, brandy, or cognac), optional
  • 3 teaspoons arrowroot for thickening, optional
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • vanilla ice cream, dollops of whipped cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla custard sauce
  • sprinkle of sumac on topping (optional)
  1. Heat a heavy sauce pan and add the sumac and cinnamon to it for half a minute. Add the lemon zest for half a minute. Make sure your pan choice will not be reactive with the fruit.
  2. Next add fruit, sugar and honey and bring to a slow boil to a slow boil: Stir often. The juices from the plums should prevent any scorching, but keep watch.
  3. If you want to use a thickener mix the arrowroot in with the sapa. If not using sapa, then add the arrowroot to some water. Traditional versions use cornstarch. I prefer to add no thickener at all, but just to reduce the sauce by simmering.
  4. Add the sapa and wine to the plums. Simmer for 5 minutes. Continue cooking and reducing until the sauce thickens to your liking. You can remove the skins of the plums after cooking and cooling, rather than before...I think it is easier. I prefer this less thick. I also would usually not puree mine.
  5. Let cool and store for 24 hours to let all the flavors set. Serve warmed with vanilla ice cream, vanilla custard sauce, or dollops of whipped cream. Or if you can't wait, you can eat it warm right away, too.
Jump to Comments (13)

Tags: comfort food, plums, sumac

Comments (13) Questions (0)

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Flower-bee

over 3 years ago Droplet

This reminds me of an Eastern European recipe for something called Kisiel (sp). I will give it a try as soon as I get a chance.

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you Dinah. This is one of my favorites. I love using white wine with fruits. The basic recipe you can find further north as well as east! You can vary the spices and sweeteners. Hope you enjoy.

About_2

about 4 years ago Rita Banci

How I'd love to have a spoonful of this dessert! Looks wonderfully tasty!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. I love having this anyday!

Kay_at_lake

about 4 years ago Kayb

This sounds fascinating. I wonder if I can have an all-dessert Thanksgiving dinner???

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Yes, an all-day all-dessert Thanksgiving Day! Great idea. Thanks.

Annalbu

over 4 years ago AppleAnnie

I made this recipe last night, using yellow and red plums, blackberries, red raspberries, and one nectarine (not enough plums!). The result is truly delicious, and the seeds from the berries do add a gritty crunch. In place of sapa I used brandy and 1 tsp. strawberry balsamic (Antonia James' recipe) One more substitution was 1tsp. ground cinnamon instead of the cinnamon stick.

Bike2

over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks so much for sharing your results! We really love this recipe. It actually has bonded my sister and me more closely together!

Bike2

over 4 years ago Sagegreen

I'm so glad you are going to test my stone cold soup. I like things on the very tart side, so feel free to sweeten to taste. Without sapa you will probably want some additional sweetness through honey or agave nectar. Hope you like it!

Annalbu

over 4 years ago AppleAnnie

I am hoping to find Sapa at an Italian import market tomorrow, if not I'll follow your advice about substituting honey or agave.

Annalbu

over 4 years ago AppleAnnie

I just bought sumac so that I can make this recipe (and also the mango tomato lassi). It is definitely a cousin to the classic Danish dessert "rødgrød med fløde" (Danes love to make foreigners pronounce it) , which must mean red grits with cream, although I used to think rødgrød was the Danish word for raspberry or red currant. (The commercial product Junket is a distant relative as well.) Thank you for this appealing variation! What would the German name be for "Purple grits"? ( I'll probably include blueberries and blackberries)

Bike2

over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. That will be delicious. Purpur, lila, violett or my favorite, dunkelrot (dark red), would work!

Bike2

over 4 years ago Sagegreen

You can make a pureed version of this, but I far prefer the chunky fruits for a more rustic style.