I’ve been making a version of this kuchen for many years. Originally, it was a German recipe which used quark, something that is not available in most of our Cincinnati-area grocery stores. I’ve found that sour cream or yogurt are good substitutes. This is very easy to put together with a variety of fruit toppings, not too sweet and a consistency that I haven’t found in other cakes. This was a good version with some leftover blackberries and a big Bartlett pear.
Blackberry Pear Kuchen
3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices
Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan
In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.
Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your hands with water and then press the dough into the pan.
Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.
Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.
In the 1960s, we used to buy some wonderful streusel-topped squares at a little bakery in Oakley (suburb of Cincinnati). Everyone loved the thick topping and I’ve never found a streusel quite like the one from the old German bakery. This one comes very close, although I believe the bakery squares were made with yeast rather than being a quick bread. This is truly a quick bread to put together to get really good results. The cake is soft and tender and the topping is crunchy and sweet. We used it today as our Sunday dessert. The recipe was adapted from one on Fake Ginger.
NEW YORK STYLE CRUMB CAKE
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 6 Tblsp. butter, softened
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup plus 2 Tblsp. sour cream
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×9 pan.
Make the crumb topping first:
Mix both sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on a flat pan and spread this mixture out on the parchment paper to dry while mixing the cake.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until just incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, beating only until incorporated and scraping down the bowl each time.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. The dough is quite stiff and by wetting your fingertips with water, you can spread the dough evenly in the pan.
Use your hand to scoop up a handful of topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in pea-sized chunks and drop them all over the cake. Use all of the topping, sprinkling the crumbs on the top of the cake evenly.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6-9 servings
In the early 1990s, I studied German to help with my job and my most lasting benefit was being able to translate German recipes. This is an adaptation of one of them.
STRAWBERRY PECAN KUCHEN
- 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. water
- 2 drops almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tblsp. canola oil
- 3 Tblsp. sour cream
- 3 Tblsp. milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup plus 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tblsp. chopped toasted pecans for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Spray or oil an 8″ baking pan
To make strawberry topping: In a medium saucepan, place strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and water. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until sauce is thickened and strawberries are soft. Remove from heat – stir in almond extract and vanilla. Set aside.
To make kuchen: In a medium bowl, place the oil, sour cream, milk, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk until blended. Stir in flour just until mixed well. Batter will be thick – spread batter in prepared 8″ pan, using fingertips dampened with water to push the batter in place.
Spread the reserved strawberry mixture on top of the batter and sprinkle with pecans.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes until cake is browned on edges and beginning to brown on top.
Serve warm. Yield: 4-6 servings