With English-speaking ears, Rote Grütze sounds more like a specialised German power tool than a grape dessert. However no matter what language you speak most would agree that this traditional cold pudding made with the juice of Shiraz or Mataro grapes, sugar, spices and Sago or Tapioca found only in the Barossa Valley is a real vintage treat. Think of it like a thick, very grown-up bubble tea. Word on the grape vine is that the colour in the grapes this year is particularly intense. The proof is in the pudding.
1 kg Shiraz or Mataro grapes, the berries removed from the stalks
¼ cup water
½ cup caster sugar
4 Star anise
1 lemon, the peel removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
6 tbsp Sago or Tapioca pearls
Double or pouring cream, to serve
- Wash the grape berries before placing in a large pot together with the water.
- Place the lid on top and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes; stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat and using a potato masher, gently press down on the soft cooked grapes in the pot until pulpy and crushed.
- Strain through a mesh sieve to separate the skins and seeds; pressing with the masher again to extract as much cooked juice and colour from the skins as possible. This will yield approximately 1 ½ litres of juice.
- Return the cooked juice to the pot and stir through the sugar, star anise and lemon peel. Bring to a gentle simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave until cold.
- Sprinkle over the sago or tapioca pearls and stir. Place the lid on the pot and leave for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight for the pearls to soak.
- Bring to a simmer while stirring and gently cooking until a custard-thick consistency.
- Pour into a large bowl and leave to cool before refrigerating until chilled and soft-set.
- Serve with either double or pouring cream.