Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake)

Red Apple

By Cat, Nov 18, 2019 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Although this is a German cake, it has similarity to Scandinavian apple cakes, such as Apple-Almond Custard Cake. The combo of apple and almond is delicious and showy.

See also: 1. Cakes & Tortes Menu; 2. European Foods Menu; 3. Scandinavian Foods Menu

Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake), Original Version

Photo, left, is from the Viking River Cruises recipe (1) from which I’ve adapted my version of this cake. Note how the thinly-sliced but still connected apple quarters spread apart during baking.

This recipe reminds me of similar recipes throughout the Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark and Norway, where the combo of apples and almonds (or almond extract) are very popular. This recipe makes 10 servings.

The original recipe uses all white flour, but I prefer to use a mix of whole wheat and unbleached white flour for the fiber the whole grain provides. Sprouted wheat flour would be even better. Another option would be to presoak the whole wheat flour with buttermilk overnight (see Presoak Version below the original version).

I’ve not yet tested this recipe.

I’d also love to try this using sprouted wheat or spelt flour, but I’ll first use regular wheat flour to get a feel for the recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

Method

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of springform pan.
  3. If your kitchen is a bit cool, warm butter to about 68°F; I set it in a bowl on a trivet, near but not over my kitchen range’s pilot light.
  4. Peel and quarter apples, then slice them thinly without cutting all the way through.
  5. Cake: Cream together butter and sugar in mixing bowl.
  6. Beat in eggs, lemon juice, almond extract and milk.
  7. Sift flour(s) with baking powder and salt into small mixing bowl.
  8. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just mixed; spread into prepared pan.
  9. Arrange apples on top; they will open as they bake (see photo, above left)
  10. Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Remove pan to cool a bit before turning out onto serving plate.
  12. Garnish and serve: While cake is still a bit warm, dust with with confectioners’ sugar.
  13. Serve with whipped cream

Presoak version for Apfelkuchen

I’ve not yet tested this version; I’m uncertain about amounts of buttermilk and water to use for the pre-soak.

Serves 10.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Pre-soak:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • optional: filtered water, 1 Tbsp at a time, as needed to mix with flour.
  • Next-Day:
  • 5 med apples, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup (1 cube) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the baking pan
  • ¾ cup Rapadura or Organic white cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs (from local, pastured hens)
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup unbleached white flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • Garnish:
  • Confectioners’ sugar, such as Rapdura powdered sugar or Organic white cane powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Equipment
  • small and medium mixing bowls
  • 10″ springform baking pan (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Method

  1. Pre-soak: Mix buttermilk and lemon juice, then stir into whole wheat flour. Add filtered water, 1 Tbsp at a time as needed to be able to mix the dough.
  2. Press waxed paper against top of the batter, then cover bowl with a cloth and let it rest on counter overnight or up to 24 hours.
  3. Next day prep: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Grease bottom and sides of springform pan.
  5. If your kitchen is a bit cool, warm butter to about 68°F; I set it in a bowl on a trivet, near but not over my kitchen range’s pilot light.
  6. Peel and quarter apples, then slice them thinly without cutting all the way through.
  7. Cake: Cream together butter and sugar in mixing bowl.
  8. Mix eggs with almond extract, then beat into butter mixture.
  9. Stir in pre-soak mixture.
  10. Sift unbleached white flour with baking powder and salt into small mixing bowl.
  11. Fold flour mixture into batter until just mixed; spread into prepared pan.
  12. Arrange apples on top; they will open as they bake (see photo, above left)
  13. Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  14. Remove pan to cool a bit before turning out onto serving plate.
  15. Garnish and serve: While cake is still a bit warm, dust with with confectioners’ sugar.
  16. Serve with whipped cream

References

  1. Viking River Cruises recipe: vikingrivercruises.com/why-viking/community/viking-recipes/desserts/apfelkuchen.html

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