Once in a while, we are called upon to make food for work. Sometimes, it’s for someone’s birthday; sometimes, there’s a theme associated with the food; sometimes, it’s to test recipes. This time, it was just a hey-let’s-everyone-bring-in-food-and-eat-it thing. With the Fourth of July being only three days away, what do you suppose the theme was this time?
Of course, the theme was German Food. Because nothing says “American patriotism” like sauerkraut and spaetzel. Yes, we know — we’re confused, too.
With that challenge, we made the most summery German dessert we could find: a summer fruit kuchen. Made with ripe peaches, blueberries and plums, this moist cake takes advantage of these three summery fruits at their peak (in season in California, at least). How do you make it? Like Ma Kettle says: “Oh, it’s a drop of this, and a drop of that. Put it in a pan and shove it in the oven.” Yeah, what she said.
Summer Fruit Kuchen
(adapted from a recipe in Woman’s Day)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a springform pan or line a 9-in. square baking pan with nonstick foil; let foil extend over ends of pan. Mix 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a small bowl. Beat 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter and 3/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in 2 large eggs and 3 tsp. vanilla extract just until combined. Beat in flour mixture and 1/3 cup of milk until blended. Gently fold 1 cup of blueberries into batter. Spread batter into prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Top with 1 sliced peach and 3 sliced plums, evenly spaced in batter. Scatter another 1/2 cup of blueberries over the top.
Topping: In a medium bowl, rub together 3 Tbsp. of flour, 3 Tbsp. of light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. of butter cut into small pieces with your fingertips until moistened and clumpy, then scatter over fruit.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and kuchen starts to pull away slightly from sides of pan. Cool in pan on wire rack before serving.