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Apfel-Streuselkuchen   (Apple Crumb Cake)

Photo: © Wolszczak
For the Dough:
4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 package Active Dry Yeast
9 tablespoons (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Juice from Half of a Lemon
1 cup Milk (lukewarm)

For the Apples:
4 to 5 Apples
Lemon Juice from One Lemon
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Sliced Almonds (optional)

For the Crumb Topping:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 sticks Unsalted Butter
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 package Vanilla Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Additional Ingredients:
Powdered Sugar for decoration

Create a "pre-dough" by combining the milk and yeast. Use a whisk to help dissolve the yeast. Mix in one tablespoon flour and one tablespoon sugar. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for one hour. During this time, you should see the yeast becoming active, noticeable by bubbles forming in the mixture.

Sift the remaining flour.

Using a mixing bowl, whip the butter until it is smooth. Add sugar and continue whipping until the sugar is absorbed. Change your mixer to the dough hook. To the mixing bowl add 3 cups of flour, milk, lemon juice, salt, and the "pre-dough." Combine all the ingredients. Gradually add remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky (if the dough reaches this point before adding all of the flour, then stop adding flour). Knead dough for 2 minutes. Transfer dough to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for one hour or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

While the dough is growing, prepare the crumbs by combining all the crumb ingredients. Crumbs should not be sticky. If they are sticky, add some extra flour (1 tablespoon at a time) until they crumble easily. Set aside.

Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut apples into thin slices. Drizzle lemon juice over the apple slices and mix to distribute the juice over all the apple slices. Set aside.

Prepare a retangular cake pan by greasing it and dusting it with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a flour surface for a minute or two. Roll the dough out to fit the cake pan. Transfer dough to the cake pan. Top the dough with apple slices and optionally the almond slices. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar. Top the apples with crumbs. Cover cake loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 30-40 minutes.

Remove plastic from cake. Bake cake for 40 minutes or until the dough and crumbs are golden brown. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely. Dust top of cake with powdered sugar.

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