Fresh apples combine with a vanilla-flavored cream in a shortbread-like crust to create a wonderful dessert which works every time. Additionally, the ingredients are always on hand in a German kitchen. That’s why this “Kuchen” is so popular in Germany; almost all cooks know how to bake this cake.
12 servings in a 10 inch springform pan.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 1 3/4 c. flour
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 7 T. butter, cut into small flocks
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 T. cold water
- 2 lb. baking apples such as Granny Smith (4-5 apples)
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. light cream (may substitute whipping cream)
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Prepare crust: Mix flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter and egg yolk into the mixture until course crumbs form. Starting with 1 tablespoon of cold water, add enough water to the dough to form a ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. (Note: small, yellow flecks of egg yolk may still be present, this will not affect the final outcome.)
Using 2/3 of the dough, roll out a circle big enough to cover the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan .
(If your pan is smaller, you won’t be able to use all the custard). Roll the remaining dough into a rope, flatten with a rolling pin and line the sides of the pan. Where the bottom meets the sides use some water and pressure to seal.
Tips:Crust should seal so that there is little or no leakage. Don’t worry if the sides don’t stay up, you can use the apples to prop them up. Another trick to get sides to stay up is to use a bit of cold butter between the pan and dough and to build up the sides so that they are thicker on the bottom, thinner at the top.
Prepare filling: Peel the apples and cut in half. Core apples and score the rounded sides lengthwise (see picture), cutting deeply but not all the way through. Brush apples with lemon juice and place cored-side down on the crust, filling the pan.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat the eggs and sugar until lemon yellow and sugar has dissolved. Add cream slowly while mixing. If you are using the vanilla bean, slit it down the middle and scrape out the tiny seeds. Add the seeds or the vanilla extract to custard and mix in.
Tip: Use empty vanilla pod when you make rice pudding or hot chocolate. Remove before serving.
Pour the custard mixture over the apples and up to the edge of the crust. Place pan in the oven and bake approximately 35 minutes or until apples are soft when pierced with a fork and custard is almost set (custard will finish setting up as it cools).
Remove from oven, cool, remove from springform (at least remove the ring) and serve with whipped cream.