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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fresh Blackberry Kuchen

I've been waiting since the beginning of June for the tiny green buds on my blackberry bush to turn into plump, juicy blackberries! Finally, last week, the blackberry bush delivered! I picked handfuls and handfuls of the gorgeous berries. I maneuvered my way around spider webs, stink bugs, and bird poop to find the best looking berries on the thorn-laden stems. My hard work paid off when I baked my thoroughly cleaned blackberries into this yummy kuchen (pronounced "koo-ken")!

This is my impression of you right now: "What the heck is kuchen?" Was that an accurate impression? And here's my impression of Wikipedia: "Kuchen, the German word for cake, is used in other languages as the name for several different types of sweet desserts... The term itself may cover as many distinct desserts as its English counterpart cake." It goes on to list several types of kuchen, including this description which is closest to the kuchen I made today: "A pie-like pastry, with a thick, "cakey" crust and a sweet custard based filling." And lastly, here's my impression of someone who just likes to argue: "Nuh uh! Kuchen is a German yeasted coffee cake!"

No matter what you think a kuchen is (okay now THAT sounds naughty), believe me when I say that this one is really yummy! The recipe I used is from Better Homes and Gardens: New Baking Book. It's a dense cake on the bottom with a sweet/tart, lemony yogurt custard on top. Oh yeah, there's also loads of BLACKBERRIES! I absolutely LOVE the flavor of blackberries and lemon together. I also love the flavor of yogurt with honey. So I replaced some of the sugar in both the cake and the custard recipe with a bit of honey. The end result is a fabulously refreshing dessert that is totally perfect for summertime! If you have any kind of fresh berries sitting in your fridge dying to be eaten before they get wrinkly and mushy, you MUST make this kuchen! ;D

Fresh Raspberry Kuchen (from Better Homes and Gardens: New Baking Book)
Makes 1 9-inch cake (up to 12 servings)

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (I used blackberries)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 egg whites (save yolks for filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt (I only had 1 cup and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar*
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla

*(In both the cake and the filling I removed 1 tablespoon of sugar and replaced it with 1 tablespoon of honey)
1. If using frozen berries, thaw at room temperature 15 minutes; drain.
2. In food processor bowl or medium mixing bowl combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and the baking powder. Add butter, egg whites, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover and process, or stir by hand, until mixed well. (Mixture will be like soft cookie dough.) Spread onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan; sprinkle with berries.
3. For filling, place yogurt in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons flour. Add 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks, whole egg, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until smooth; pour over berries in springform pan.
4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 55 minutes or until center appears set (slightly wobbly) when shaken gently. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes; remove side of pan. Cover; chill in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.
5. To serve, remove pan bottom. Transfer to a platter. If desired, garnish with lemon leaves.

Nutrition facts per serving (12): 187 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 55 mg chol., 111 mg sodium, 30 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.


Joey said...

That. looks. so. good.
Am gonna try making this with raspberries that will go off soon if no one eats em!

Jelli Bean said...

I'd throw a large scoop of ice cream on that and call it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yum.

Steph said...

I'm jealous of your fresh blackberries! The custard sounds delicious.

apparentlyjessy said...

Yummy! I love German cakes... the fresh blackberries must have tasted awesome!

A Slice of Concentrated Love said...

I have a recipe similar to that. I'm really gonna have to try it now.

Hannah said...

Oh man, that looks so delicious.

Xiaolu said...

This reminds me of a bread-like pastry topped with berries and custard. Unfortunately I don't think this is the exact same, but it makes me drool anyway! 8)

Valerina said...

Your blog rocks! I'll be visiting often. Seriously, when will technology advance enough to the point where we can reach through the computer. Those blackberries are pulling on my hungry stomach. :)

Meagan said...

I am definitely trying this next week. I just made some oatmeal cookies so I need a few sugar free days! I have some frozen raspberries to use up so this recipe will be perfect!

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I love kuchen! I make apple or peach kuchen, I'll have to try blackberry...it looks yummy. Mine doesn't have any custardy thing going on though.

Just the name 'kuchen' turns me into the Muppet's Swedish Chef - Kim is coooookin' kuchen in the kitchen, bork bork bork!

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you wrote kuchen out phonetically. I was totally mispronouncing it in my head. :)

And this recipe looks like another good use for the bulk blueberries my mom picked up at Sam's this week. Success!

thereddeer said...

Looks great - I love fresh berries of any sort, so I'm sure this would go down a treat!

Paris Pastry said...

I adore Kuchen!!! I made an apple kuchen some time ago, it was the best! Those Germans have some amazing food!

blue tomato said...

omigosh those black berries look deeeelicious!!! they're so plump!!! and the kuchens look just as yummmy!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

The berries look delicious! Thanks for introducing us to 'kuchen'

Katiecakes said...

Haha, I just made a jam out of hand picked strawberries and gooseberries and too know the perils of a thorny bush :p

Your kuchen looks fab! Pop over to my blog some time, I made your chocolate cherry cuppies and they were a huge hit :)

Katie xox

Christina said...

lol, great post! the 'lemony yogurt custard' sold me. what fun it is to have fruit bushes right where you live!

Snooky doodle said...

I don t care what you call this but it looks delicious! yummy. It was worth the effort :)

ARLENE said...

I just happen to have a bonanza of blueberries and raspberries in my freezer which I can use to make a kuchen next week. I happen to love kuchen, no matter what incarnation it takes on.

Marisa Midori said...

This looks awesome! Can't wait to try it. A couple summers ago my family and I drove across the northern US and for some reason on my list I was determined to eat kuchen in South Dakota because apparently it's the state dessert but no matter where we ate I never saw it anywhere. I ended up finding some....in New York.

Mrsklaser said...

oh man that pie looks amazing, i will be there in like 100 hours, save me a piece lol. Actually it may take more than 100 hours, Im walking hahahah <3

Ingrid said...

Happy 4th, Cassie!

Marta said...

you have a blackberry bush? I'm green with envy!
This looks delicious, perfect way to use up fresh blackberries!

jodye said...

Lucky you, I'm still waiting on my blackberries! This looks so delicious, and once my berries decide to come around, I'll surely be giving it a try!

Adam said...

Yeah those Europeans do have some funny sounding almost dirty words... but they make a mean pastry :)

I love honey and yogurt together. Actually pretty much honey anything. I could probably put it on everything from eggs to celery.

I met this dude from Roanoke yesterday, and he went to W&M. Kinda near you... small world :)

Gala said...

Being from Germany this recipe totally takes me back to childhood.
great blog!

Melissa said...

I like the color the raspberries turned. :) Looks delicious!

kamailesfood said...

Mmm...this looks fabulous. I love the lemon/blackberry combo too.

Erin said...

it's now pronounced koo-ken it's closer to koo-hen. but however you pronouce it it looks delicious

justice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Linda in MO said...

I made this today following the original BH&G recipe except using the fresh blackberries. I also used the zest of a whole large lemon but I didn't measure it and I baked it for 2 extra minutes. It's delicious! 3 thumbs up here! The smell and taste of the yogurt was much more pronounced before it was chilled. And the very center of the cake part still seemed a bit undercooked. Maybe it's supposed to be gooey in the center. It might have been that way because I used a bit more blackberries, too. Anyway, I will definitely make this again. Thanks!
Oh, and it reminds me a bit of the St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that I make, which is also delicious.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I made this yesterday with frozen blackberries and the full amount of yogurt and just blogged about it too. AMAZINGLY YUMMY. Thanks so much for posting this recipe!