Friday, September 14, 2012

Zwetschgenkuchen


Now that I have said goodbye to summer, I can fully embrace fall and the cooler weather. Basically, this means that it is time to bake!

So for starters, I made Zwetschgenkuchen. I know, some of you are stumbling over the word, "Zwetsch..ge.. WHAT?" Zwetschgenkuchen is German for plum cake which can also be called Zwetschgendatschi (go ahead, try to pronounce that one!).

When I lived in Germany, my landlady, Maria, (I told you about her in my post about baking bread ) made fruit kuchen (cake) almost daily, especially during the months when the fruit trees surrounding the house bore lots of fresh apples, plums, and cherries. If I could have bottled the scent that wafted through my little apartment while Maria baked, I'm pretty sure I would be a millionaire and retired by now.

Well, that didn't happen,but what did is Maria taught me how to make kuchen, which by the way, tastes just as wonderful as it smells.

Zwetschgenkuchen

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk or cream
1 1/2 lbs.Italian prune plums

Cream butter. Add egg and sugar and mix till smooth.
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl.
Alternate adding some flour and milk to the creamed mixture until the dough is heavy but can still drop from a spoon.
Spread dough onto a greased jelly roll pan.
Cut plums in half and remove stone. Place halves, cut side up, on top of dough.

At this point, you can put streusel (recipe below) on top of plums or you can bake as is.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.
Let cool and then cut into squares.

Streusel

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Add about 1/2 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons of flour into butter. Add cinnamon (optional). Mix with a fork. This streusel is not crumbly; take a look at the photo below to see what I mean. You want to make sure it is thick but not too dry or too wet. Use hands to scatter mixture over the fruit.



*Notes
Zwetschgenkuchen should be eaten the same day it is baked for best flavor and texture. So invite some friends over for some coffee and enjoy!

♥

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goodbye Summer


Summer is my fourth favorite season. I'm not a sun girl. I don't like to be hot. However, this year, I decided that I would embrace the summer months for all that they were worth. Turns out summer is not so bad after all...


Mornings were spent on the deck drinking coffee with Jonas and reading. 


Then there were the days by the ocean...


eating lobster...


and other shellfish...


or sometimes, soft shell crab sandwiches


while watching the dusk arrive.


Some days were spent fishing.


When the fishing was good,


dinner was delicious!


One very early morning, we fished while the sun awoke.







I would have to say this was my favorite day!


Our grill worked overtime. Farm fresh vegetables


were delicious on ciabatti with fresh mozzarella and homemade pesto.


Little neck clams were eaten as is or 


jazzed up with fresh breadcrumbs, sun dried tomatoes and garlic.


Lots and lots of sun tea was brewed and drank.


As well as a few margaritas


and a couple pitchers of beergaritas!


Tomatoes from our garden became salsa and fresh sauce.


Jalapenos from the garden were stuffed with cream cheese


and wrapped in bacon to become the new favorite appetizer!


Peaches were in abundance to be eaten fresh


or baked in pies with strawberries.


Blueberries became muffins


and hand pies that disappeared in seconds.


This guy showed up in my backyard...


along with this beauty...


Ha! Ha! I had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Actually, we enjoyed a trip to the Bronx Zoo!


Aah, summer, it's been fun!