Kuchen means cake in German, as I explained to my husband right before his first taste (he liked it.) This dessert made its way to America with the German immigrants. It is a nostalgic food from my German Russian side of the family rooted in North Dakota.
Traditional kuchen consists of a sweet yeast bread dough topped with fruit and custard. For the modern times, this recipe has been updated to use baking powder, making kuchen a quick and easy treat for dessert, snack or breakfast. Kuchen freezes and microwaves well and is great warm or cold. Top with sweet cream, sour cream, whipped cream or ice cream, especially when served warm. Any fruit can be used as filling. Some even add chocolate chips.
For this autumn kuchen I gathered some baking apples, Haralson and Rome, from the orchard.
1/4 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup oil (I use light olive oil) 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup milk 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Beat egg with a whisk in a medium mixing bowl, add sugar and oil, whisk till creamy. Add other ingredients, whisk until smooth. Pour into a 9″ greased pie pan.
2 cups thinly sliced apples
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Spread apples evenly over dough, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk eggs until light and foamy, whisk in other ingredients. Carefully pour over fruit. Bake for about 25 mins until crust is golden brown. The custard will set as the kuchen cools.
This tastes vaguely like bread pudding to me, jazzed up with fruit and spices. Not too sweet and perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.