Rote Grütze, or Red Grits, with White Wine

July 31, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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 ( 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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Droplet
  • Rita Banci
    Rita Banci
  • Kayb
  • AppleAnnie
  • Sagegreen

15 Reviews

Droplet May 21, 2011
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.
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
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.
Rita B. November 8, 2010
How I'd love to have a spoonful of this dessert! Looks wonderfully tasty!
Sagegreen November 8, 2010
Thanks. I love having this anyday!
Kayb November 8, 2010
This sounds fascinating. I wonder if I can have an all-dessert Thanksgiving dinner???
Sagegreen November 8, 2010
Yes, an all-day all-dessert Thanksgiving Day! Great idea. Thanks.
AppleAnnie August 11, 2010
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.
Sagegreen August 11, 2010
Thanks so much for sharing your results! We really love this recipe. It actually has bonded my sister and me more closely together!
Sagegreen August 13, 2010
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!
AppleAnnie August 13, 2010
I am hoping to find Sapa at an Italian import market tomorrow, if not I'll follow your advice about substituting honey or agave.
AppleAnnie August 6, 2010
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)
Sagegreen August 6, 2010
Thanks. That will be delicious. Purpur, lila, violett or my favorite, dunkelrot (dark red), would work!
sarah August 21, 2016
You were right about your first translation! Although I live in Germany, Denmark is very near (100km) and here Rote Grütze mit Milch /Sahne (red grits with milk or cream) is very common. It evokes so fond memories of my grandmother making it with fruit from her garden. Growing up it was by far my favourite dessert. Thank you sagegreen for taking me back in time while browsing your recipes! (Also your echte Rouladen - my dad makes them every winter, the recipe really similar to yours.)
Sagegreen August 21, 2016
Thanks for sharing, Sarah. Summer is such a good time to make this.
Sagegreen August 1, 2010
You can make a pureed version of this, but I far prefer the chunky fruits for a more rustic style.