Plum Sauce – German Pflaumenmus

plum sauce

is a chef, food photographer, cookbook author and blogger.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.

You can find my tried and tested plum sauce recipe on this page.

In the colorful world of fruit spreads, plum sauce is a true classic.

It was difficult for me to find an English name.

It is German plum puree, which is cooked for a long time and has a honey-like consistency.

In Austria, it’s called powidl – I settled on plum sauce. Please write me if you know a better name.

Dive into the depths of traditional preparation and also discover the charm of modern cooking techniques.

Enjoy reading and good luck!

1. Recipe Plum Sauce

Before you get started, here’s a professional cooking tip: For optimal results when cooking puree, I recommend preparing it in a copper kettle.

Copper intensifies the flavor of fruit preparations and preserves the fruit’s vibrant color during cooking.

My favorite is the large jam pot from Falk Culinair from Belgium – it is ideal for cooking jam and jam.

We cooked 1 kg of puree from 3 kg of fresh plums (2,860 g without seeds).

If you have any questions, you can use the comment function at the bottom of the page. I’m happy to support you!

Plum Sauce

Prepared, refined, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 40
Calories 66
Total Time 315 Min.
Preparation Time 45 Min.
Cook Time 270 Min.

Easy to prepare instructions for Powidl.

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plum sauce
plum sauce recipe image © Thomas Sixt


3 kg plums
300 g brown cane sugar
3 Stück cloves
1 Stück vanilla beans
2 Stück anise
2 Stück cinnamon
4 EL balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP – Bernardo Tesori)


plum sauce ingredients
plum sauce ingredients

Prepare ingredients

Prepare the ingredients in the kitchen.

Wash plums for making your own plum sauce
Wash plums for making your own plum sauce

Wash plums

Wash the plums well.

Damsons or plums during pitting
Damsons or plums during pitting

Core plums

Halve the plums and remove the stones.

Plums or plums, pitted, prepared for plum sauce
The fresh plums or plums are pitted and prepared for plum sauce.

Pitted plums

Place the plums in the copper kettle.

The plums had an exact weight of 2,860 g when pitted.

Spices for plum sauce
Spices for plum sauce: vanilla pod, anise stars, cloves and cinnamon sticks

Prepare spices

Prepare spices for plum sauce.

I halved and scraped a vanilla bean, used two pieces of star anise, three cloves and two cinnamon sticks.

Add sugar to the plums for cooking plum sauce
Add sugar to the plums for cooking plum sauce

Add sugar

Add the 300 g cane sugar to the plums.

Plums with sugar and spices in the pot
Plums with sugar and spices in the pot

Season plums

Place the prepared plum jam spices in the pot with the sugar.

Bring the plums to the boil
Bring the plums to the boil

Boil plums

Bring the plums to the boil slowly on the stove or put them in the oven, temperature range 150-170°.

Cook your own plum sauce in a copper kettle
Cook the plum sauce yourself in a copper kettle

Cook puree

Let the plums cook slowly in the copper pot and stir occasionally.

When using the oven method, keep the oven door slightly open with a wooden spoon so that the steam can escape easily.

plum sauce is fully cooked
plum sauce is fully cooked

Mus cooked

The plum puree is fully cooked after 4 hours on the stove.

Remove the spices from the puree.

Prepare sterilized jars for filling and boiling.

Pour plum sauce into glasses
Pour plum sauce into glasses

Fill in

Pour the plum saucee into the glasses using a gravy boat.

Refine plum sauce with traditional balsamic vinegar
Refine plum sauce with traditional balsamic vinegar

Vinegar optional

Optionally add balsamic vinegar to a few glasses to taste.

Do not use Aceto Balsamico Traditionale but an acidic IGP.

We have tried both variants and I prefer acid.

Homemade plum sauce and filled in glasses
Homemade plum sauce and filled glasses

Close jars

Close the hot filled jars with lids.

Preheat oven to 100°C.

plum sauce in the oven while preserving
plum sauce in the oven while preserving

Boil down

Pour boiling water onto a deep baking tray and place the glasses on top.

Boil the jars for 1-1.5 hours, then let them cool and store.

plum sauce
plum sauce recipe image © Thomas Sixt


Use the plum puree or plum sauce as desired. I like to eat the puree as a spread with sandwiches.

You can find many ideas for using plum sauce in the article under the heading:

New tips for plum jam as a side dish .

I wish you a bon appetite!


2. Calories and Nutritional Values

The plum sauce calories are calculated in the table below.

The calculation is based on a portion of 25 g of plum puree.

3. Cook Plum Sauce

The traditional plum sauce brings back memories of times when grandma made the jam on the side at the crackling kitchen wood stove.

Nowadays, in addition to the traditional method, there is also cooking in the oven and in the Thermomix.

In contrast to jam, plum sauce, named Powidl and German Pflaumenmus does not require preserving sugar and contains less sugar.

Common spices include cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean and cloves. Newer versions rely on ginger or tonka beans with their vanilla, almond and caramel-like aromas.

I recommend trying a simple version at the beginning. If you’re looking for variety, you can experiment with tonka beans or dark chocolate later.

Balsamic tip:

A few Aceto Balsamico IGP on the fruit puree enhance the plum aroma with a pleasant acidity.

I experimented with Aceto Balsamico Traditionale in this recipe and came to the conclusion that the younger IGP with more acid harmonizes better with Powidl with cinnamon.

I recommend whole cane sugar as a source of sugar.

Plum jam vs. plum sauce or Powidl

Plums are often the first choice for plum sauce.

Its advantages are the firmness of the fruit, at the same time an intense taste, easy deseeding and processing as well as a beautiful color formation when cooking.

While the plum has a specific oval shape, the plum is round. The term “plum” often serves as an umbrella term.

Botanically, both fruits belong to the Prunus genus, with the true plum being a subspecies of the plum.

What was interesting to me was that the plum genus belongs to the large rose family (Rosaceae).

But enough of the botany…

Regionally, terms like “Zwetsche” without an “n” can occur, as can Quetsche.

Regional names:

Depending on the region, there are different names for the popular plum sauce / puree:

The term “Zwetschgenmu” appears more often in modern times when searching on the Internet and is either a common typo or due to pressing “Return” too quickly without an “s”.

The same in Englisch with “Plum ja” instead of “plum jam”.

The original Mühhäuser plum jam from Thuringia is a well-known specialty in Germany.

I can recommend plum roasters from Stauds in Vienna as an original specialty from Austria.

As a chef, it is also important to me:

The Austrian plum roaster is not a plum jam ; Fruit can still be seen here.

Source: The Good Kitchen – The Austrian Cookbook of the Century;

Authors: Plachutta – Wagner; Published by Orac Verlag,

ISBN 3-7015-0310-9; Page 495:

PLUMB ROASTER: The cooking time is given as 35 minutes.

The popular plum jam generally contains more sugar than plum jam and usually preserves sugar.

Boil the copper kettle after the plum jam
Boil the copper kettle after the plum jam
Place the plum jam filled into jars with lids in the oven
Place the plum jam filled into jars with lids in the oven to preserve

4. Plum Sauce From the Oven

Preparing plum jam in the oven is a popular alternative to the traditional stovetop method.

Personally, I appreciate the characteristic scent that develops when cooking plum jam on the stove.

I like the delicate scent of plum, cinnamon, clove and vanilla, which spreads delicately and ethereally throughout the house.

However, I also recognize the convenience of the oven method even though it uses more energy.

For oven preparation, I recommend a large roasting pan or copper kettle to ensure an even heat supply.

The oven door should occasionally be left slightly open to allow moisture to escape.

An ideal temperature for preparing plum jam in the oven is between 150°C and 170°C.

Depending on the temperature selected, the amount of plums and the oven model, preparation can take 2-5 hours.

Plums mixed with sugar
Plums mixed with sugar and spices
Prepare plum jam in the oven
Prepare plum jam in the oven

5. Boil Down the Plum Sauce And Preserve It

Preserving plum jam allows us to enjoy the flavor of the fruit all year round.

The cooked puree is filled into sterilized jars with lids.

I put the jars and lids in boiling water, wash the jars with vinegar essence and hot water so that they are 100% clean.

Then the puree is poured in using a gravy boat or a sippy cup.

The edges of the glasses stay nice and clean. Then the lid goes on and I boil the jars additionally.

Preserving plum jam made easy:

My favorite is the effective and simple oven method for preserving.

I present these in the recipe above. I like this option because my kitchen is small and I don’t need any additional tools.

The existing oven does the job.

But there is also the option of using a traditional canner or automatic canner.

Please note the information provided by the device manufacturer for a good result when preserving.

Preserving in the past:

As a professional chef, I was fascinated by the “old preserving method for plum jam” while browsing through cookbooks:

In times gone by, the freshly cooked plum jam was put into rustic clay pots and then dried in the oven for hours without a lid.

This process creates a natural sugar layer on the surface, which seals and preserves the puree.

In addition, rum-soaked paper was placed on top of the dried plum jam.

Finally sealed with parchment paper, the valuable puree was protected from mold.

Homemade plum jam and filled with it
Homemade plum jam and filled with it
Plum jam in the oven while preserving
Plum jam in the oven while preserving

6. New Tips For Plum Sauce As A Side Dish

Plum jam found a permanent place in my kitchen many years ago, especially as a side dish with game, duck and goose.

The plum puree is also ideal as a base for plum sauces and gives dark sauces a wonderful flavor at Christmas dinner.

New pepper tip:

Try plum jam on fresh bread with a pinch of red pepper.

The red pepper provides a delicious, tingling, slightly spicy taste experience.

This combination is very suitable for aged cheeses:

A nut bread with plum jam and red pepper with a cheese plate is a fine accompaniment.

Cheeses such as Reblochon, Camembert, Comte, Fourme d’Ambert AOC or Bavaria Blu as well as sheep’s cheese and goat’s cheese taste delicious with it.

The plum honey with red pepper goes just as delicious with the fried veal liver and liver sausage .

The strongly sweet plum honey goes very well with natural yoghurt and definitely puts store-bought fruit yoghurts in the shade.

Below you will find an info graphic about plum jam as a side dish, combination or for cooking and refining sauces:

plum sauce, powidl, german pflaumenmus to use for.
plum sauce, powidl, german pflaumenmus to use for.

7. Frequently Asked Questions About Plum Sauce

You can find answers to questions about plum puree below:

What is the difference between plum jam/sauce and damson jam?

This is mainly a question of fruit.

Plums are round, while plums are oval and firmer fruit.

Overall, it has established the term Pflaumenmus for a prepared puree from both fruits.

Can I make plum jam or plum sauce without sugar?

Yes, but the sugar helps with shelf life and consistency.

Why does my plum sauce not get thick?

It may not have been cooked long enough or may have contained too much water.

Can I freeze plum sauce?

Yes, plum puree freezes well and retains its flavor.

As a cook I recommend you to boil down plum puree/sauce/jam

What is the shelf life of plum jam?

Properly cooked plum jam can be kept for several months.

You can find information under the heading: Preserving plum jam

8. Other Fine Fruit Spreads

You can find a separate category for making your own spreads here in the food blog.

I present a selection of sweet spreads to you below:

Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers

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