Quetschentaart – Luxembourgish plum tart

Quetschentaart, one of the classics of Luxembourgish baking. The simple fruit tart is a traditional autumn treat, and you’ll find it at bakeries across the country at this time of year. Plum tart is made with “Quetschen”, which translates into plum, but it’s not really exactly the same. Most of you will probably think of a plum as a round, dark reddish fruit, with a little round stone in the middle. While that’s perfectly correct, it’s not quite what we have in Luxembourg. Luxembourgish plums have a slightly elongated shape, they’re darker, almost deep purple, and they have a long, thin stone.

They are what the British call damson plums, and unfortunately, I find these quite hard to track down in Britain. Yes, some of you will say I should head to farmers’ markets, and I really should, but when the craving for this tart hit me, all I had was my local fruit and veg stall outside my tube station – and they only had plain, round, reddish plums.

So, I made the tart with these plums, and it still turned out amazingly well. Probably because the recipe’s really good. And how could it not be? It comes from the absolut bible of Luxembourg cookery – Ketty Thull.

This plum tart, or Quetschentaart, is just one of many traditional recipes featured in the Luxembourgish cookery bible Ketty Thull. Originally published in the mid 20th centruy, the book was recently given a contemporary makeover. Editions Schortgen republished the originl recipes with beautiful modern photography.

Ketty Thull really is the pillar of Luxembourg cookery. This is the book that newlyweds would get on their wedding day, so that the wife would know how to fill their husband’s belly with their favourite home-cooked foods.

These days, it’s the book most Luxembourgers would turn to for basic recipes such as mayonnaise, salad dressings and sauces or to find authentic recipes of our traditional Luxembourgish dishes. You’ll be able to discover Luxembourgish potato cakes (Gromperekichelcher), bean soup (Bouneschlupp), vol au vents filled with chicken (Paschteit) and Luxembourgish Cheesecake (Keistaart).

October 1, 2012