Français Kuchen

The wine industry… many people love its luxurious personality but few hold a well rounded education. My sweet friend, who sold wine for years, hosted a wine party this past weekend, doing her best to educate us in a short period of 4 hours. You can imagine the small percentage retained as we kept drinking! We drank wines from many  regions in France. Our pre-selected menu by Kimberly Stewart (author of Eating Between the Lines – http://eatingbetweenthelines.net/) consited of, you guessed it, french recipes! Each guest volunteered to make an item off the menu.  As I love to bake, I jumped on the dessert ~ Blueberry Apple Kuchen with hot cream sauce! Our party of 14 seemed to be pleased. Note: The dessert would be nothing without the cream sauce, so don’t skip it! 

Sally Schmitt’s Cranberry and Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce

(Makes 8 servings)

For kuchen:

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus butter for the baking pan

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup milk or light cream

3 to 4 Gravenstein or Golden Delicious apples

1 cup cranberries or firm blueberries

Cinnamon sugar: 1 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For hot cream sauce:

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter

For the kuchen: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a mixer bowl or by hand in a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and egg together until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in texture.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients and the milk alternately to the butter mixture. Do not overbeat; mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Peel and core apples. Slice them into 1/4-inch wedges

Spoon batter into the pan. Press apple slices, about 1/4-inch apart and core side down, into the batter, working in a circular pattern around the outside edge (like the spokes of a wheel. Arrange most of the cranberries in a ring inside the apples and sprinkle remainder around the edges of the kuchen. Sprinkle kuchen with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center of the kuchen comes out clean. Set on a rack to cool briefly, or let cool to room temperature.

For the hot cream sauce: Combine the cream, sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat (to reduce the chances of scorching or boiling over) and let sauce simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, to reduce and thicken slightly. Serve hot sauce with the kuchen.

From “The French Laundry Cookbook” by Thomas Keller

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