Just as languages bear the traces of migration, conflict, and trade, so too do our recipe boxes. In a country such as France, that’s seen millennia of shifting borders, population, and governance, it’s not surprising that French cuisine is diverse. Of course, the menus of the French restaurants of my youth didn’t reflect that at all.
It took discovering writers like Julia Child, Elizabeth David, and M.F.K. Fisher to show me the breadth of French cuisine. It took joining French Fridays with Dorie to fully explore the reaches of French cooking in my own kitchen.
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie dish is a gift from its neighbour, Germany. Kuchen (which really just means cake) is itself a dish full of diversity – the word has travelled all around the world and depending on your destination, kuchen can be cheesecake-like, strudel-ish, reminiscent of coffee cake, or nearly pie.
It can also be this: a tender tart crust that’s also sturdy enough to hold butter-soaked cookie crumbs, topped with roasted apples and boozy dried fruit, suspended in a rum-flavoured custard. It was just as good as it sounds and don’t be fooled by the toasty bits on top – the last step is slathering the top with sugar and butter and running the cake under the broiler. I had to stop myself from nibbling at these bits of fruit and content myself with those on my own piece.
I was very content, as you might imagine.
You can find the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie crew’s entries on this recipe here: Apple Kuchen.