Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Apple Kuchen

Apple Kuchen
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 108.

The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving were mild enough to work outside, getting the leaves blown and taking in the tender plants to the basement. Sunday was a different story as a front brought in rain and colder air. It was a perfect day to be in the kitchen! I did not have anything specifically planned to bake and Michael suggested doing something with apples since we had a large bowl of them on the counter.

Apple Kuchen comes from Maida Heatter's first book, "Book of Great Desserts". "Kuchen" is German for cake and as I started this recipe, I realized that it is a lot like Ina Garten's French Tart that we love so much. The crust for this recipe is quite different though and has a mealy, almost crunchy texture. It is very good and would be perfect for a breakfast dessert with a cup of coffee.

1/3 cup light or dark raisins
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) walnuts, cut into medium-size pieces

Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Steam the raisins for 3-5 minutes by placing them in a strainer over a covered saucepan of shallow boiling water. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs. (Make sure the butter is cold for this)

In a small bowl or cup, stir the egg slightly and stir in the milk and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until the ingredients are moistened.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with raisins and nuts and set aside. (The batter is extremely sticky and I thought it was hard to spread. I tried both flowered fingers and a spoon and neither worked well).


4 medium-large apples (I used Granny Smith, Maida prefers Rome Beauties)
2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut the quarters into thin wedges. Place them, overlapping, in rows down the length of the dough (about 3 rows). Fill in areas between rows with additional apples.

Melt the butter and brush it over the apples.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered apples. Cover the pan loosely with a sheet of foil.

Bake for 35 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes. Prepare the glaze.

Apricot Glaze

1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 TBS. sugar

In a small saucepan over moderate heat, bring the preserves and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes (stirring) and then brush the mixture over the apples.

Best served warm!

1 comment:

rebecca said...

Hi Phillip!

This looks so good! I love the way you write about the weather, the garden, the cookbooks, Michael's suggestions, etc. Finally, the photography is wonderful, so clear and crisp. I meant to mention a few days ago how much I liked the photo of the cookie. Also, I like the photos of your hands.