Friday, November 21, 2014

Swabian Apple Cake

Swabian apple cake or Schwäbischer Apfelkuchen is another German dessert perfect for Thanksgiving. 

Sometimes, just a few simple ingredients are the tastiest. The simply delicious apple, raisin almond filling in this cake is covered with a pie-like crust. Sort of  a deep dish or mile high apple pie. A butter, sugar, almond combination is layered on the top and baked in for added sweetness and crunch. 

This recipe is from the Swabian part of Germany. Simple, hearty, unpretentious food is a trademark of that region.

This was hands down the best apple cake I have ever made. Highly recommend it for your holiday table. It's also a good excuse to use up extra apples you may have lying around.

Swabian Apple Cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes 
Chill Time: 60 minutes 
Yield: 8 slices

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces divided into 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons)
1 egg slightly beaten
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced into small pieces (I used a combination of Braeburn and Gala apple varieties)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped whole raw almonds

  • Whisk together flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. 
  • Place dry mixture in a food processor. Add 3/4 cup of the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  • Pulse in the beaten egg until the dough becomes smooth and forms a ball. 
  • Remove the dough ball from the food processor and wrap in plastic cling film. Refrigerate for at least one hour. 
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the apple pieces, freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh lemon zest and half of the chopped almond pieces. 
  • Make sure everything is evenly combined. Here is where you would add a tablespoon or two of your favorite liqueur. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9" springform pan with baking spray or vegetable shortening. 
  • Remove the dough ball from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a large circle. 
  • Wrap the dough circle around the floured rolling pin and fit it into the greased pan making sure the dough covers the sides of the pan. 
  • Spoon the apple, raisin filling combination into the pan. 
  • Gather the remaining dough together and once more, roll out into a circle on a floured work surface. 
  • Wrap the dough circle around the floured rolling pin and place it over the apple-raisin filling, sealing off the cake. Trim the edges of the dough to fit the pan. Discard the dough scraps or use them to cut out shapes with a cookie cutter to place on top of the cake for decoration. 
  • In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of unsalted butter pieces. When the butter melts, add the remaining 3/4 cups of sugar and stir until combined. 
  • When the sugar has liquefied, add the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds and brown them slightly. 
  • Pour the hot sugar, butter, almond mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Place the cake in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the top crust has caramelized and has turned a lovely brown color.
  • Remove from oven and let the cake cool completely in the pan. 
  • Release the cake from the pan, place on a serving platter. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

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