Rote Grütze









In early July when the red currants are ripe my grandmother always made Rote Grütze. We picked the shiny, glassy currants and other berries from the garden and she cooked her own version of this Northern European dish. I am still in awe of every bunch of sparkling red currant jewels and they should really be worn as edible earrings like you do with a pretty pair of cherries.

My grandmother did not bother much with strict adherence to the original Northern German recipe where she came from and that limits the fruits to red currants but used what was available and at peak though she insisted on only red fruit. Strawberries or raspberries for a sweet flowery note, sometimes bright red cherries were included and if a few last rhubarb stalks were leftover from the previous harvest, they got used too. Accordingly the colour of the pudding varies between bright red leaning on pink or dark ruby red if darker cherries, raspberries and a few black currants or black berries dominate later in the summer.


red berries for Rote Grütze

Rote Grütze is a fruit pudding, a thickened compote, and despite all the sweet fruit (and some sugar) still wonderfully tart. Traditionally Sago, a relative of tapioca, was used to set the compote and I love the little soft pearls here the but I understand that those are not everybody’s cup of tea and therefore used cornflour / cornstarch. Serve cold with whipped cream, vanilla custard or as I do while this heat wave lasts: vanilla ice cream. For me it is pure childhood and just a spoonful has the power to evoke endless summer evenings, taking a quick dip in the garden’s water basin when temperatures were soaring, running all day through the garden with bare feet and the soap-scrub at the end of the night, smelling fresh hay and the irresistible scent of a quick summer shower.


P.S. More summer fruit recipes: blueberry soup, blueberry Bundt cake, tarte aux figues, raspberry tiramisu, Mirabelle & hazelnut cake , Meyer lemon squares



Rote Grütze

Rote Grütze – red fruit pudding

Serves 12


1lb. / 450-500g red currants
2lbs / 900g strawberries
4 rhubarb stalks
1 pint / 250g raspberries
juice of 1 lemon
1½ – 1¾ cups / 300-350g sugar to taste
a dash of Kirsch eau de vie (optional)
ca. 6 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch


Destalk currants, quarter strawberries and chop rhubarb in small pieces. Place all fruit in a pot and mix with lemon juice, sugar and if using a dash of Kirsch. Cover barely with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure nothing catches or overboils. Some of the fruit should have disintegrated and others should still be in pieces. Make a slurry from cornflour and a little cold water, then pour the mixture into the compote, bring to a short boil again, stir and leave to cool and thicken.

Serve Rote Grütze chilled, pure, with whipped cream, vanilla custard or ice cream. Tastes fabulous mixed into yoghurt or spooned over your morning muesli.


Sago or tapioca: Measure 60g / 1/3 cup of pearl sago or very small tapioca pearls per liter of compote instead of using cornflour. Cook with the fruit for about 15-20 minutes until the pearls have become translucent. Leave to cool. Find out what consistency of Rote Grütze you prefer, a rather runny compote or a stiff fruit pudding.




 Deutsches Rezept

my grandmother's Rote Grütze

Rote Grütze

Serves 12


500g rote Johannisbeeren
1 kg Erdbeeren
4 Stangen Rhabarber
250g Himbeeren
Saft von 1 Zitrone
1 Schuß Kirsch (optional)
ca. 6 EL Speisestärke


Johannisbeeren von den Stilen abstreifen, Erdbeeren vierteln und Rhabarber in kleine Stückchen schneiden. Alle Früchte in einen Topf geben, mit Zitronensaft, Zucker und eventuell mit einem Schuß Kirsch mischen. Wasser hinzugießen bis die Beeren gerade eben bedeckt sind und zum Kochen bringen. Flamme reduzieren und für ca. 15 Minuten köcheln lassen, dabei von Zeit zu Zeit umrühren damit nichts ansetzt oder überkocht. Einige Früchte sollten sich aufgelöst haben, andere noch stückig geblieben sein. Speisestärke mit etwas kaltem Wasser verrühren und in das Kompott geben, dies kurz aufkochen lassen, umrühren und schließlich abkühlen lassen.

Rote Grütze kalt servieren und entweder pur genießen, mit geschlagener Sahne, Vanillesauce oder Vanilleeis. Schmeckt auch im Joghurt sehr lecker oder zum morgendlichen Müsli.


Perlsago / Tapiocaperlen: Anstatt Maisstärke kann man die Rote Grütze auch mit Sago oder Tapioca andicken. Pro Liter Fruchtkompott rechne ich 60g Perlsago und gebe dies zu den zerfallenden Früchten hinzu. Für ca. 15-20 Minuten kochen lassen bis diese durchsichtig werden. Abkühlen lassen. Wie auch bei der Stärke sollte man die Menge an Sago der gewünschten Konsistenz der Roten Grütze anpassen: weniger für ein flüssigeres Kompott oder etwas mehr für einen festeren Pudding.



26 thoughts on “Rote Grütze

    • Ja, Gerlinde, Johannisbeeren sind schwierig zu bekommen. Ich hatte neulich einen Taxifahrer in Frankfurt, dessen Familie Artischocken in Castroville angebaut haben (was für ein Zufall!), also die Ecke von Dir. Die hatten auch so ein Heimweh nach Johannis- und Stachelbeeren, liessen sich aber nicht anbauen, zu warm.

      Vielleicht lassen sie sich durch ein paar Cranberries ersetzen, die auch die nötige Säure liefern könnten.Liebe Grüße, Nicole xx

      • My pleasure, Gerlinde. I would think that they provide enough tangy sharpness to replace the red currants in currant-bare zones and also have similar pips – for an even closer Rote Grütze experience…

    • Fabulous, Linda, our type seems to be hard to find.
      With sago (Pearl Sago), I use roughly about 60g per liter of liquid, add it after the fruit start to disintegrate and cook with the fruit for about 15-20 minutes until the sago has turned translucent.

      For tapioca, I would try the smallest tapioca pearls (about 50- 60g) and cook those equally for 15-20 minutes until the pearls are translucent.

      Happy heat wave cooking, Linda. Although, somehow I always figure you in a nice cool stone house. N xx

      • Still waiting for our redcurrants to ripen but I really like the sound of this, thanks for the extra cooking tips. I’d have to smuggle the tapioca past the husband as he’s not keen – maybe I’ll just wait to see if he notices. Not a stone house but a rather lovely 16thC half-timbered job (though plastered on the outside) aka the Money Pit. 🙂

      • You’ll have to see what consistency you prefer, sometimes I like a rather runny Rote Grütze with a few pearls floating in the compote and other days I prefer a stiffer (and I know how that sounds), one that approached pudding.
        Love the half-timbered money pit from the 16th C, sounds rather like Escape to the country – swoon.

  1. Oh my goodness, this is heavenly. This is just the kind of dessert I’d love to eat year round, but it’s even better with freshly picked berries and cold ice cream on a summer day. This is tooooo tempting. Yum!

  2. Liebe Nicole (hoffe das stimmt) – ich habe deinen schönen Blog via the “Guardian reader recipe maple syrup” gefunden – und nachdem ich ein wenig gestöbert habe, habe ich bemerkt, dass die liebe Gerlinde deinen schönen Blog auch schon kennt – die Welt ist manchmal wahrlich ein Dorf. Was für ein schönes Rezept für Rote Grütze und was für ein toller Blog.
    Ich freue mich auf meine zukünftigen Besuche – und wünsche dir noch einen schönen Abend.
    Liebe Grüße aus Bonn,
    Andrea aka TheKitchenLioness

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