Fruit Pudding Recipe (Rote Grütze)

German Recipe: Rote Grütze: a German fruit pudding topping

This fruit pudding recipe, the original Rote Grütze, is one of Schleswig-Holstein's traditional desserts.  It could also be described as Germany's national dessert! Traditionally made with just fresh red currants or a combination of red currants and raspberries, there are many variations possible. You can always use a mix of fruits or just stay with one type.

Some of these possibilities are ripe berries, such as strawberries, red or black currants, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, and even rhubarb can be used.

Fruit Pudding Recipe - "Rote Grütze"


  • 2 lbs ripe fruit as listed above, using at least 2 types
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • granulated sugar as needed
  • Wash and prepare fruit. If using cherries, remove pits. If using rhubarb, cut into large dice.
  • In a large pot, combine fruit and water. Cook over low heat until fruit is tender.
  • Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over large bowl. Pour cooked fruit into sieve. Do not crush fruit. Put fruit into large serving dish.
  • Add water to juice to make 1 quart (1 litre) and bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Mix cornstarch with a bit of cold water. Add to hot juice, stirring constantly.
  • Sweeten with sugar if needed. Pour thickened juice over fruit.
  • Sprinkle lightly with sugar to prevent a skin from forming on surface.
  • Refrigerate until serving. Makes 4 servings.

What do you do with Rote Grütze?

  • It's served over cream or custard. It's also great layered in a glass with cottage cheese, "Quark", or even yogurt.
  • Put it over ice cream. Be creative.
  • Traditionally, this fruit pudding recipe is served with vanilla sauce. Above, made with red currants and sour cherries, it's poured over vanilla custard.

How I discovered Rote Grütze ...

My favourite memories of this dessert are very recent. Our friends took us on a "must do" excursion: taking a walk to a Hallig which is part of the Schleswig-Holstein's Wattenmeer National Park. This was a 6 km. walk from the beach to the Hallig (island) following the tide that was going out.

Hiking barefoot through the wet sand and navigating around the little sea creatures such as stingrays and areas of sharp shells, was quite an adventure. Once on the Hallig, we rested with a cup of coffee and Rote Grütze, all the while keeping our eyes on the clock. Rested and nicely filled, we quickly hiked back to the mainland before the tide came back in.

This was my introduction to one of several easy fruit desserts. All that seems to matter is that this fruit pudding is red. Other than that it seems, any combination of fruits work.

I've been asked, "Why bother draining the fruit and then adding the fruit back to the sauce?"

Well, let's say you decide not to drain it and continue with the recipe, adding the corn starch, stirring until done. It'll still taste good, but looks more like a stewed fruit pudding with the fruit all broken and "mushy".

Draining and then thickening (and cooking) the sauce and THEN returning the softened, but whole, fruit back to the sauce, leaves the fruit whole. It just gives a great "mouth feel", looks pretty, and is traditional.

Want to save time and work? Then leave out the "drain, strain, and return" steps!

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