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Powidl – Austrian Plum Jam

Powidl (or Powidel, from Czech povidla or Polish powidła or powidło) is a plum stew. Unlike jam or marmalade, and unlike the German Pflaumenmus (plum puree), powidl is prepared without additional sweeteners or gelling agents.

Powidl is cooked for several hours, in order to achieve the necessary sweetness and consistency. The plums used should be harvested as late as possible, ideally after the first frosts, in order to ensure they contain enough sugar. .

In Austria and Bohemia, Powidl is the basis for Buchteln, Powidl cake and Germknödel, but it is also used as a sandwich spread. Powidl will keep for a long time, especially if kept in traditional crockery.

Traditionally, large amounts of Powidl to be used as a winter store and natural sweetener were prepared in late autumn during a communal event. Since constantly stirring the stew was exhausting work, people took turns, and did easier work in between turns. The Czech term povidla is plural only (the Polish word powidła as well).

Italian prunes are typically used for povidl (povidla).

Powidl - Austrian Plum Jam
Powidl (or Powidel, from Czech povidla or Polish powidła or powidło) is a plum stew. Unlike jam or marmalade, and unlike the German Pflaumenmus (plum puree), powidl is prepared without additional sweeteners or gelling agents.
Ingredients
  • 1.3 - 1.8 kg ripe Italian plums
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Instructions
  1. Wash the plums and cut them into small pieces (1¼ cm or so), removing the stone as you do it. Place them in a heavy pan and pour a little water in the bottom, no more that a half a cup.
  2. Bring the plums to a boil, stirring often so that they don't burn on the bottom. Add the cinnamon stick and the cloves.
  3. Boil gently for 3 or more hours, stirring often.
  4. Place the cooked plums in a ricer or sieve and stir to remove the skins and spices. Bring the jam/butter back to a boil until it has reduced as far as you want it and is very thick. Ladle the butter into clean, boiled, preserving jars or into freezer bags. Freeze or can, as you wish.
Notes
Makes 3½ cups of plum jam.

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