Apfel Käsekuchen

I spend a good deal of time drooling at all the delicious looking things being blogged about around the world. Still, it’s a rare occasion when I see something I’ll actually make. This mostly has to do with the fact that following someone else’s recipe is contrary to the ethos of this blog. There have been a few times, like here and here where I just couldn’t resist. Today was one of those days and after seeing Jenni’s Apfelkuchen over at Online Pastry Chef, I was compelled to head to the store to get the requisite ingredients.

Of course in keeping with my philosophy, I used Jenni’s recipe as a guide and made alterations, most notably to the flavours. When I first saw the picture of her Apfelkuchen, before I read the description, my first thoughts were of a pastry with a yeast risen buttermilk crust filled with tart apples, honey, almonds, lemon and cheese. As it turns out I was a bit off in impression. While her version sounds delicious, I used my initial impression as a basis for my version.

Apples have a very mild flavour that’s easy masked, which is why so many fruit juices us apple juice as a base. I really wanted the apple to be the star of this dish, so I used vanilla to lay down a nice neutral base, painted on layers of honey and marzipan then added lemon zest to provide some highlights. The result was a rich decadent dessert you don’t feel horrible about having for breakfast. It’s like all the best parts an apple pie and a soft custardy cheesecake all wrapped in a sweet buttery brioche-like dough.

If you’re wondering why this doesn’t look like any kuchen you’ve ever seen, it’s probably because kuchen is the German word for “cake” and refers to a whole class of desserts. Käsekuchen (lit. cheesecake) is a more specific dessert which is a yeast leavened pastry that’s usually filled with sweetened Quark. In case you’re wondering, Quark is a fresh cheese, not a character on Deep Space 9. It’s not quite the same as cream cheese, but since cream cheese is easier to find it makes a suitable substitute.

1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C flour + around another 1/2 C
generous pinch kosher salt
1/2 C buttermilk
6 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla

2 granny smith apples peeled, cored and sliced
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 Tbs honey
2 tsp flour

3oz Marzipan

8 oz package of cream cheese
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp meyer lemon zest
1 egg

Combine yeast, sugar salt and 1/2 C of flour in the bowl of an electric mixer

Melt the butter then add the egg yolk to the butter and the egg white to the buttermilk. Whisk each one separately then combine and whisk together. Add the vanilla then pour it all into the mixing bowl and stir to combine.


Attach the dough hook to your mixer and mix on low adding a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough is still soft, but stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium and let it do its thing for about 7 minutes or until the surface of the dough is silky smooth. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).

Put the oven rack in the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mist a 9″ round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray, then press the dough into the bottom, coming most of the way up the sides of the pan.

Mix the apples, lemon juice, honey and flour to combine then lay down a single layer of apples along the bottom of the dough. Then work the Marzipan into thin pieces and scatter them on top of the apples.

To make the cream cheese topping, add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy scraping down the sides several times. Add the egg and continue beating until shiny and smooth. Pour mixture over the apples and marzipan making sure it doesn’t go above the rim of dough (you may need to press the dough up further).

Let this rest for about 20 minutes then put it in the oven. Bake until golden brown around the edges and the center is just a little jiggly about 40 minutes.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    I am digging the marzipan innovation! And that pic on my blog, I must admit w/red face is not mine. My guy actually ended up looking exactly like your guy did–I just can never remember to take a picture of what I make. To put a positive spin on it, I guess I’m just too spontaneous! Anyway, I love this!

    PS Add a flour-amount guideline for the dough part:)

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    I am digging the marzipan innovation! And that pic on my blog, I must admit w/red face is not mine. My guy actually ended up looking exactly like your guy did–I just can never remember to take a picture of what I make. To put a positive spin on it, I guess I’m just too spontaneous! Anyway, I love this!

    PS Add a flour-amount guideline for the dough part:)

  • marc

    Thanks. And nice catch about the flour, it’s fixed:-)

    • Aiko

      This is so delicious! Thanks for the (no)recipe. I ended up having to use a lot more flour then you called for though and not sure why :/ any ideas? I’m def gonna make this again!

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Thanks! Not sure why yours required more flour. It could have to do with the shape of your measuring cups relative to mine. That’s the problem with using volume measures for flour. Depending on how packed the cup gets it makes a huge difference in the amount of flour.

        2011/12/20 Disqus

  • marc

    Thanks. And nice catch about the flour, it’s fixed:-)

  • http://memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com/ Marysol

    The pictures said it all. But the wonderful ingredients sealed the deal for me. Looks like an unbeatable combination of flavors, Marc.

  • http://memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com Marysol

    The pictures said it all. But the wonderful ingredients sealed the deal for me. Looks like an unbeatable combination of flavors, Marc.

  • Pingback: An Ode to German Restraint: The Apfelkuchen « Pastry Methods and Techniques

  • http://ohboykarencooks.blogspot.com/ Karen

    This is just gorgeous! It looks so rich and creamy.

  • http://ohboykarencooks.blogspot.com Karen

    This is just gorgeous! It looks so rich and creamy.

  • http://www.windattack.com/ The Wind Attack

    That looks really amazing. I love the shot of it baked and still in the tin. The crust looks perfect.

  • http://www.windattack.com/ The Wind Attack

    That looks really amazing. I love the shot of it baked and still in the tin. The crust looks perfect.

  • http://vixeninthekitchen.blogspot.com/ Kitchen Vixen

    Oh, that looks so good. Especially because I love eating “dessert” for breakfast.

  • http://vixeninthekitchen.blogspot.com Kitchen Vixen

    Oh, that looks so good. Especially because I love eating “dessert” for breakfast.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    A beautiful dessert! You still didn’t quite follow a recipe :) I’m just like that.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    A beautiful dessert! You still didn’t quite follow a recipe :) I’m just like that.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    mmmmm…gorgeous pudding. looks so creamy. i’m thinking a big dollop of vanilla ice cream or custard to go with that! x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    mmmmm…gorgeous pudding. looks so creamy. i’m thinking a big dollop of vanilla ice cream or custard to go with that! x

  • http://www.danatreat.blogspot.com/ Dana

    I have a theory that, when it comes to dessert, everyone likes apple and lemon. Almost everyone likes chocolate, but when I am making dessert for someone I don’t know well, I will usually stick with apple. I just bookmarked this for next time!

  • http://www.danatreat.blogspot.com Dana

    I have a theory that, when it comes to dessert, everyone likes apple and lemon. Almost everyone likes chocolate, but when I am making dessert for someone I don’t know well, I will usually stick with apple. I just bookmarked this for next time!

  • http://chefsgonewild.blogspot.com/ Zenchef

    Oh boy.. i had to sit down when i saw those pictures. One word.. awesome! Gotta try this.

  • http://chefsgonewild.blogspot.com Zenchef

    Oh boy.. i had to sit down when i saw those pictures. One word.. awesome! Gotta try this.

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com/ Hayley

    This looks incredible! I’ve never seen anything like this, and will definately be adding it to my ‘things to bake soon’ list. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com Hayley

    This looks incredible! I’ve never seen anything like this, and will definately be adding it to my ‘things to bake soon’ list. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com Elra

    Re: tag, no pressure dear, completely understand!

    OMG, I love quark so much….
    This kuchen sounds so delicious, I have to make this!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com/ Elra

    Re: tag, no pressure dear, completely understand!

    OMG, I love quark so much….
    This kuchen sounds so delicious, I have to make this!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Apples baked in pastry with cream cheese?! This sounds so good!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    Apples baked in pastry with cream cheese?! This sounds so good!

  • http://noobcook.com/ noobcook

    This looks elegant and tasty at the same time! =)

  • http://noobcook.com noobcook

    This looks elegant and tasty at the same time! =)

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ Pigpigscorner

    Oh wow, looks so delicious with the cream cheese! I will omit the marzipan if I ever make this =)

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ Pigpigscorner

    Oh wow, looks so delicious with the cream cheese! I will omit the marzipan if I ever make this =)

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com/ Daily Spud

    Loved the sound of Jenni’s original and love the sound of this too – apple-based desserts (tarts, crumbles, cakes, and just about anything apple…) are among my favourites.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    Loved the sound of Jenni’s original and love the sound of this too – apple-based desserts (tarts, crumbles, cakes, and just about anything apple…) are among my favourites.

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Love the look of that! Apples and cream cheese – yum!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    Love the look of that! Apples and cream cheese – yum!

  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera @ SweetsFoods

    Marc, wow that looks delightful-creamy a sweet treat!
    If it has marzipan I must put in my list the sublime-things to do :)

    Cheers!
    Gera

  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera @ SweetsFoods

    Marc, wow that looks delightful-creamy a sweet treat!
    If it has marzipan I must put in my list the sublime-things to do :)

    Cheers!
    Gera

  • http://immaeatchu.wordpress.com/ susan

    i wish i could have this for breakfast right now! i’m don’t usually dive right into sweet stuff but i love the cream cheese filling. i’ve tried quark from the farmer’s market before and it’s delicious. which reminds me i should probably go pick some up soon.

  • http://immaeatchu.wordpress.com susan

    i wish i could have this for breakfast right now! i’m don’t usually dive right into sweet stuff but i love the cream cheese filling. i’ve tried quark from the farmer’s market before and it’s delicious. which reminds me i should probably go pick some up soon.

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com/ The Duo Dishes

    Cheese and apples! You got it. The first picture just looks heavenly.

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com The Duo Dishes

    Cheese and apples! You got it. The first picture just looks heavenly.

  • http://www.brooklynfarmhouse.com/ megan (brooklyn farmhouse)

    oh yes, apples, marzipan, cheese? how can you go wrong?? and as usual your pics are divine.

  • http://www.brooklynfarmhouse.com megan (brooklyn farmhouse)

    oh yes, apples, marzipan, cheese? how can you go wrong?? and as usual your pics are divine.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    The texture looks light and lovely. Must be delicious. And, I loved Quark on DS9!

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    The texture looks light and lovely. Must be delicious. And, I loved Quark on DS9!

  • http://www.giverecipe.com/ Zerrin

    Pictures seem so appetizing! I’ll definitely try this.

  • http://www.giverecipe.com Zerrin

    Pictures seem so appetizing! I’ll definitely try this.

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com/ Jennifer

    That’s fancy! Looks great Marc!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com Jennifer

    That’s fancy! Looks great Marc!

  • http://www.thekneadforbread.com/ Chuck

    Wow! What a stunning dessert. Pass me a fork please!

  • http://www.thekneadforbread.com Chuck

    Wow! What a stunning dessert. Pass me a fork please!

  • http://www.veggiebelly.com/ veggiebelly

    This looks delicious! Love the marzipan idea!

  • http://www.veggiebelly.com veggiebelly

    This looks delicious! Love the marzipan idea!

  • http://www.kalofagas.ca/ Peter

    Marc, again congrats on the NYT article! The tart is delicate, moist and I’d even drizzle something like caramel for a nice look and some more over the top flavour…bravo!

  • http://www.kalofagas.ca Peter

    Marc, again congrats on the NYT article! The tart is delicate, moist and I’d even drizzle something like caramel for a nice look and some more over the top flavour…bravo!

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com/ claudia (cook eat FRET)

    marc – absolutely heavenly looking
    i would so love this
    perfect flavors

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook eat FRET)

    marc – absolutely heavenly looking
    i would so love this
    perfect flavors

  • Lacey’s Mom

    I am a former resident of Germany, and this is one of my faves. My daughter is on a baking frenzy, and planning on baking this divine dessert this evening! I am running away from home. LOL! (Thanks for sharing the recipes, at any rate.)

  • Lacey’s Mom

    I am a former resident of Germany, and this is one of my faves. My daughter is on a baking frenzy, and planning on baking this divine dessert this evening! I am running away from home. LOL! (Thanks for sharing the recipes, at any rate.)

  • sandelholz

    My favorite Kuchen is Pflaumenkuchen.

  • Sharon

    This looks amazing. But does “1/2 C flour + around another 1/2 C” mean the dough uses 1/2 C of flour or 1 C of flour? The description seems to indicate it’s only 1/2 C.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sharon, sorry about the confusion. You start with 1/2 cup of flour, but then in the 3rd step, you add more flour a bit at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency (which is why it says about 1/2 cup). Hope that helps.

      • Sharon

        Ah yeah, I realized that as I read through it again. Thanks!

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

Pirikara Shogayaki (spicy ginger fried pork)
Corned Beef in Stout with Mustard Chutney
Pomegranate Lamb Tagine
Crispy Halibut with Wasabi Panzanella and Earl Grey Potatoes
Clam and Chicken Paella
Red Mole with Shredded Beef
Spicy Lemongrass Crab
Sushi Rice