Although the American kitchen is well known for its home baking, the baking tradition is said to have originated from the German/Austrian immigrants. Classics like Scharzwalder Kirschtorte (chocolate and cherry liquor cake), Sachertorte (chocolate cake with apricot jam) and of course apple pastries like Apfelschnitten/Apfelkuchen are famous around the globe. And what about ‘the original’ New York cheesecake? Not to offend anyone, but the Germans already had their Kasekuchen.
As a baking fanatic and foody, of course I feel drawn to trying all these classics, and today I’ll share a great recipe for Apfelschnitten. They’re not difficult to make, and really practical at a party: everyone can just grab a piece and eat it without a plate and fork.
I used a 38,5 by 26 cm square oven pan (1001 cm squared, which resulted in about 18 servings), but you could of course adjust the ingredients to fit your baking pan.
For the crust
74 g raisins, soaked in 74 ml rum
370 g flour
225 g sugar
165 g butter
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
74 g raspberry jam
For the pound cake layer
53 g butter
90 g butter
zest of 1/2 lemon
144 g flour
5 g baking powder
30 g almond powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
111 ml milk
For the topping
5 medium-sized, sweet apples
74 g apricot jam
2 tbsp water
- For the crust: mix together the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and zest, and knead into a ball. Roll it out on a flour dusted worktop, and cover the (baking paper-covered) bottom of the pan. Poke some holes with a fork, and apply a layer of rasperry jam. Let the crust sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For the pound cake layer: mix together the butter, sugar, egg and zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, almond powder and cinnamon, and add to the butter mixture. Mix in the milk, and spread the cake mixture over the chilled crust.
- Sprinkle the raisins onto the cake layer.
- Cut the apples into wedges, and lay them onto the cake layer party covering each other, like roof tiles.
- Bake the Apfelschnitten (which literary translates as ‘apple wedges’) for about 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
- For a nice, shiny finish, heat the apricot jam with some water and cover the top of the Apfelschnitten.