The fictional character I most identify with is Monica Geller from Friends. But for a few minor differences, she *is me. You know the episode where she is desperately trying to recreate Phoebe’s Grandmother’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies? “Nest-lay Tool-ouse” That has been me trying to recreate my husband’s Grandma Mary’s Apple Kuchen.
Apple Kuchen is a German apple cake, sometimes made with apples, sometimes with peaches. It has a cake base, fruit, and usually a custard. Some are made without custard, but Grandma Mary’s had it.
We’ve looked through all the cookbooks, etc., and we are starting to think that this might be one of those recipes Grandma Mary just did by memory. But either way, I think this is as close as I’m going to get, and it was delicious.
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
- Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, in the bowl of a food processor and give it a pulse.
- Add the cold butter pieces and pulse to incorporate it until it becomes fine crumbs.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk and egg well. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture. Pulse a few more times until it becomes wet.
- Grease a 9-inch spring form pan and spread the batter on the bottom of the pan. (I also lined the bottom of mine with parchment for easy removal, optional)
- Arrange the apple slices on top starting around the outer edges in a circle, working around until you have a spiral. Sprinkle the top of the apples with cinnamon sugar. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the custard cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cups of cream with flour and whisk together to get rid of big lumps. Add the rest of the cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. whisk well to mix.
- Take the cake out of the oven and pour the cream mixture on top. Put the cake back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.
- When the cake top is puffed, and the edges are deep golden and starting to separate from the pan, the cake is done. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.
- * * I used Granny Smith apples, but you can certainly use any apple, or peaches. Fresh would be best, if they are in season, but canned would work as well.