I thought about sharing a soup this week, but it’s too hot for that! Instead, this week’s recipe is for something seasonal that can be appreciated room temperature or cold: apple kuchen.
Photos by Zachary Cross
This is not a guest post but it was made by a guest chef: my older daughter, Lexi. She’s had an interest in cooking, and especially baking, for a long time. Since I discovered that I have a wheat allergy I’ve stopped baking with wheat and also most grain flours. Lexi has filled the void my decreased baking has left.
We discussed both the pronunciation of kuchen (we learned koo-ken from Mennonites) and the definition. Basically, it means cake in German. One of our favorite dessert recipes, though, from The More-with-Less Cookbook is for peach kuchen, and it’s more of a custard pie. Turns out that is a Käsechun, a cheesecake, specifically Pfirsich-Käsechun. The M-w-L recipe uses sour cream or yogurt for the custard, something I found odd but yummy (we’ve always used yogurt). Now I learn that German cheesecake is made with a German cheese: quark. It sounds a bit like Greek yogurt in that it’s strained and a bit tangy. It’s not yogurt but an acid-set cheese - not one made with rennet - and I’m excited to try making it in the future.
Lexi made more of a traditional sheet cake with an apple topping, so it’s an Apfelkuchen. There’s no streusel on it, though it sounds like it doesn’t need it. Jeffrey pronounced it “moist, but not the least bit gummy.” It certainly smelled heavenly, I suppose the combination of cinnamon and apples. And it was gone in less than 24 hours!
The blog post this recipe comes from is a bit of an advertisement for White Lily flour. Lexi used regular all purpose flour, but made sure to sift it thoroughly to keep it light and fluffy. The cake is in the post is very white, Lexi’s version is a lovely golden color from the pastured eggs she used. She also only used 3 apples “because I sliced them so thin,” and it sounds like that was plenty. They were Winesaps from Wheeler’s Orchard, plenty tart in place of Granny Smiths.
From Chocolate, Chocolate and More
4-5 medium Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups White Lily All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Alternating, add flour mixture and sour cream, starting and ending with flour. Mixing just until each addition is incorporated into batter.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan. (I line mine with parchment paper for easy removal of cake to a serving tray.) Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Peel, core and slice apples into thin slices (about 16 slices per apple) place apples in a single layer across top of batter.
Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping. Sprinkle over top of apple layer.
bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and let cool 30 minutes.
Prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Serve cake still warm or can be served cooled.
Store in refrigerator.
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