Quite a few Austrian sweet dishes and puddings are filled with a jam-like plum spread called Powidl and I thought it would be useful to devote a quick feature to this delicious preserve. You’ll find Powidl in my recipes for Germknödel and Mohnstrudel but it’s also used to fill Pofesen, Buchteln and Powidl-Tascherl. A delicious preserve made purely from plums, this authentic Powidl recipe doesn’t use added sugar. It’s made by simply cooking and reducing plums to a thick, spreadable consistency.
Good-quality Powidl is not readily available to buy in shops, even in Austria, so I wanted to share the recipe for making Powidl at home.
In Austria, we use Zwetschken (prunus domestica subsp. domestica) to make Powidl. You can see some photos of our Zwetschken tree at home in Austria in this post here. Without access to prunus domestica subsp. domestica, it’s best to find damsons (prunus domestica subsp. insititia) instead of the huge round plums you’ll find in the supermarkets. Either way, ensure to use very ripe and very sweet fruit for making this Powidl recipe.
Please note again that real Powidl isn’t made with sugar and is therefore not a ‘jam’.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll end up with 20% of the initial plum weight when making Powidl, for example 5kg of plums will cook down to 1kg of Powidl.
How to make Powidl
- Take a quantity of Zwetschken/damsons/plums (e.g. use 2.5kg to make 500g of Powidl), halve and de-stone the fruit. Add a few de-stoned dried plums if you like. It adds an additional layer of flavour complexity to the Powidl.
- You can add grated lemon zest, a little bit of ground cloves and/or cinnamon and some dark rum (Stroh if you are going all Austrian).
- Bring to a boil in a suitable pot and slowly simmer on a low heat for several hours
- Stir frequently.
- Continue until the plums have cooked down to a dark purple or brownish pulp – a viscous paste which is spreadable i.e. it shouldn’t be too runny and not too thick.
- Fill into jam glasses.
This authentic Powidl preserve contains the pure essence of plums and won’t taste of sugar like typical jams.
Where to buy Powidl
Real Powidl can’t be bought in supermarkets. However, I did see that Darbo Powidl sells here. I would like to add that I have never tried and tasted this product. Please also note that Powidl such as this is made with the addition of sugar.