An Apfelkuchen, sehr fein, is a classic family-style German cake. Sliced apple halves, just held together by a vanilla-scented, buttery batter - wunderbar! I imagine it's perfect for afternoon tea or Kaffeklatsch, but I made one tonight for a little mid-week treat.
Recipes for Apfelkuchen can be found in almost any German baking book, (or indeed, here, via the wonders of the Internet!) but because I only wanted to make a small cake, I used a recipe from the gorgeous Dr. Oetker Mini Kuchen book. It was a gift from the folks in Germany, and I love all the cute mini-Kuchen, Torten, Hupfs and Obstbodens! Sehr niedlich!
For a truly German-tasting cake, you need little Päckchen of Vanille-Zucker and Backpulver!
These are available at many delis and larger supermarkets in Melbourne, but you could always substitute ordinary vanilla extract for the vanilla sugar.
I mixed the dough by hand, as it didn't seem worth it to drag the KitchenAid out for 40 grams of sugar and 50 grams of butter! I also didn't have an 18cm tin (another thing to put on the shopping list!), so I used a 20cm sandwich tin.
I must admit I was a bit alarmed when assembling the cake - the batter barely covered the base of the tin, and there were so many apples...
...but after 30 minutes in the oven, it rose heroically to look like a proper Apfelkuchen. Hurrah!
The recipe asks you to glaze the top with apricot jam, but as you may remember from my last post, I didn't have any. I just finished off the cake with a simple dusting of Puderzucker.
A piece of cake, a cup of tea, a double episode of Law and Order: SVU on TV. A perfect relaxing night in!
Apfelkuchen, sehr fein
From Dr. Oetker's Mini Kuchen, translated by me
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 packet vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 pinch salt
3 small apples
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line and grease an 18cm springform tin. (A 20cm tin will also do; the cake will simply be a little flatter). Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter until soft and light. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Beat together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds in between. Add the flour and mix in. Pour the batter into your prepared tin, and spread out evenly.
Peel and core the apples, and cut into halves. Use a sharp knife to score lines in the apple pieces, being careful not to cut all the way through if possible. Arrange the apples on the dough, pressing in lightly.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. (I'd advise you start checking at 20 minutes, depending on your oven!)
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.