Oh, her company was good, her stories of nazi Germany were spine-tingling- but her jello like dessert was the stuff of fairy-tale dinners. It was like a jello. Kind-of. But not really. It had fruit, and was topped with something that was very surprising to me as a teen.
Cream. Not the sweet kind from a tub. But THICK, milky stuff that came from a porcelain cup. I had never had cream before, and it was an immediate love affair. I must admit that every time I saw cream in the store, or used some in my coffee, or made a quiche, I thought it would be far better paired with that ever elusive dessert.
You think I am kidding- but I am seriously NOT. I have looked for this dessert for years. When google arrived as a gift to the universe, I immediately put it to use.
"Desserts that use cream"
"jello-like dessert that is not Gelatin and is German"
"German dessert with fruit and cream"
"Please oh magic googler, find me the dessert of my dreams"
and I came up empty.
But all great stories have good endings:
2 1/4 lbs currants or raspberries or brambleberries or strawberries or sour cherries or plums (assorted red fruits, in any combination)
1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste, depending on the tartness of the fruit)
1 quart water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup rum (optional)
milk or cream, to serve with the dessert
Wash fruit and pick through for stems (reserve 3/4 cup).
Combine the remaining fruit with water (reserving 1 cup), and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook fruit over medium heat until done but still holding its shape.
Sweeten to taste with more sugar, if needed.
Stir corn starch into reserved water until dissolved and stir into the juice.
Bring to boil, cook until thickened, and remove from heat.
Blend in the rum if desired.
Mash reserved, uncooked fruit in blender and stir into the thickened juice.
Eat Rote Grutze either hot or cold and serve with cold milk or cream.