Appelkuchen

I had a sweet craving and some apples that needed dealing with, so I made a sheet of german apple pie with a cream custard layer. What I didn’t have was the patience to wait for the sweet sourdough to do its work, so I used an easy substitute for the traditional yeast dough: Quark-Öl-Teig, a dough made with quark (a low fat fresh cheese) and oil, leavened with baking powder. It’s a sturdy dough we often use for plum or apple sheetcakes here in Germany. It’s easy to make, easy to handle, there’s no waiting time, and it’s absolutely foolproof. So if you can get hold of quark or dabble in dairy and make it yourself, try it. If you can’t, use a low fat cream cheese.

The recipe is for a 30x40cm (12×15.5 inch) rimmed baking sheet.

Prep your rimmed baking sheet either by greasing it or fitting it with a piece of parchment.

For the dough:

  • 300g quark
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g Quark (or low fat cream cheese)
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar

Mix everything thoroughly and give the dough a very short knead. Place it on your baking sheet and roll it out.

For the cream custard:

  • 1 Pck vanilla custard powder (weighs 48g here)
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 70g sugar
  • 350g milk
  • 150g cream
  • 1 egg

Mix the custard powder with the sugar and the cornstarch and then mix it with a bit of the milk into a smooth liquid.
Mix the egg with the cream.
Bring the rest of the milk to a soft boil, add the custard mix and whisk vigorously, it’ll thicken quickly. Take the pot away from the heat source and let the custard cool a bit, then whip in the eggy cream mix. Let it cool further, stirring every now and then while you deal with the apples and the oven pre-heats to 180°C / 375F.

For the apples:

  • 5 big apples
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice mix, apple pie mix, just cinnamon, or whatever warm spices you like with your apples. I used an arabic coffee spice mix containing cardamom, cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg and vanilla.

Peel the apples, cut them into wedges and toss them with the sugar and spices.

Cover the dough in your baking pan with the custard. Then add the apples. Bake your cake for about half an hour and enjoy it still slightly warm with a huge cup of tea or coffee.

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