Larry and his friend Mark are both German, from Hays, Kansas. As I have mentioned in the past, Hays is primarily a German region. When Mark came over for dinner Walking on the Wild Side, I wanted to make a German dessert to take the boys “back home for a bit”. Apples and cinnamon play very prominent roles in German baking, so it was only fitting that I make a German dessert featuring apples and cinnamon. I made a German Apfelkuchen or a apple crisp cake. The boys both wanted it with ice cream too.
Apple Crisp Cake
Just the basics for the cake part.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP sour cream
Combine the flour, salt, butter, cinnamon and baking powder in food processor and pulse until it all resembles a course sand. Then add the eggs, sour cream and sugar and blend again until it all forms together into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours before using.
The Apple Filling
1- 1 1/2 lbs apples, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP ginger liqueur or something similar – I used some honey ginger balsamic vinegar -This is optional.
1-2 TBSP butter
Cook the apples with the sugar, cinnamon and butter in a hot skillet for about 10 minutes, or until softened, at a medium-high heat. Combine the water and cornstarch and mix well, then add to the apple mixture, along with the liqueur, if using. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until it has thickened. Allow it to cool.
2 eggs whites
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
chopped pecans for the topping
Beat the egg whites for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Gradually add the powered sugar and beat again until glossy, again, for about 10 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and beat once more for an additional 2 minutes, or until it forms soft peaks.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator a few minutes before you are ready to press it into the 9×13 baking dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle then add it to the baking dish. Completely press it into the pan and up around the sides. Crimp the edges.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, then allow to cool for a few minutes before adding the apples and icing.
When ready, spread the apple filling evenly over the crust.
Then pour the icing over the apples and spread evenly to cover them. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the icing. Bake again for an addition al 10-15 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving. It goes great with some ice cream on the side.
This is a traditional German dessert. Germans love to bake and they like to eat their sweets. They are known for their cakes, doughnuts, tortes, cookies and pastries. Many are filled with all kinds of fruits, but especially apples, nuts and creams, or any combination thereof. An old German proverb says ” May your introduction be short and sweet”. So you have now been introduced. Let’s eat.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.