Apfelstreuselkuchen (German Apple Cake)

Flora Renz

Currently compensating for all my failings as a PhD student by eating my way around London and bribing my entire department with baked goods. Still unsure if I want to be Nigella or marry her. Definitely want to live in a gingerbread house. Think Beetroot is an abomination.

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Apfelstreuselkuchen

Most people would probably preface this kind of recipe with a story of how their mother would bake this lovingly every Sunday while she sang magical songs and hearts rained from the sky. Sadly, my mother is of the firm belief that cooking is something that happens to other people and her only attempt at baking ended with a loaf of bread that only stopped rising when it hit the sides of the oven.

However, we did live near some excellent bakeries and one of my fondest memories is of getting to dip my hand into the massive bucket of Streusel topping the baker had just finished making (yay for a time innocent to food safety regulation). In Germany you have this kind of cake in the afternoon with an obscene amount of whipped cream and large cup of coffee, so it’s not overly sweet and just the right side of stodgy to tide you over until dinner.

 

Filling:

  • 1kg apples, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 75g sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Base:

  • 100g sugar
  • 100g soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150g flour

Topping (Streusel):

  • 150g flour
  • 100g butter, cut into chunks
  • 100g sugar

 

1. Put all the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan on a low heat. Allow to cook for 10 mins or until the apples start to soften and look slightly translucent. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Pour off the liquid that will have come out of the apples during cooking.

2. Pre-heat oven to 180 C (160 if you have a fan-oven). Grease and line a 10 inch round spring form.

3. Mix together the ingredient for the base. The order does not really matter here as this is not a type of dough that requires a lot of air. However, if you are not using an electric mixer it will be easiest to do it in the order shown above. Press the dough to the bottom of the tin and a little bit up the sides. (This will look like it just isn’t enough but, believe me, once you put it all together there will be plenty of cake).

4. In a separate bowl mix together sugar and flour then use your fingertips to rub in the butter. You should end up with a mix that looks like quite large breadcrumbs. Set aside.

5. Press the dough into the base of the spring form. Make sure to push it up the sides about half an inch or so, this will help the filling stay in place. Don’t worry if this looks like a fairly small amount of dough for now.

6. Spread apples on top of the base dough then sprinkle the topping over the apples.

7. Bake for 60 mins. Check the colour occasionally. If it starts to look too dark cover with tinfoil and continue baking.

Best served with a large spoonful of whipped cream, a strong cup of coffee and a large helping of parental guilt.