Apfelkuchen mit Nussstreusel (Apple tart with nut crumbs) Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [American]

For the custard

  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 mL heavy cream (or a bit more)

For the streusel

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • Either:
    • 100 g ground almonds
    • 100 g ground hazelnuts
  • 50 g zweiback or bread crumbs

Roll out the mürbteig and place in a springform pan. I use a German, 30 cm pan with sloping sides, but a 25 cm pan has worked, as long as the pan is deep and the dough reaches all the way to the top.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Peel, core, and halve the apples. Lay the apple flat side down onto the cutting board. Do not slice the apples like you would for an American apple pie, but slice almost down to the cutting board (deeper than scoring the apples), so that the apples hold their shape. Lay apples flat side down on the mürbteig. After fitting as many apples into the pan as possible, halve and quarter any remaining apples and fit them into the gaps.

Beat 200 g sugar and the eggs together, then mix in the cream. Use less sugar if your apples are not extremely tart. Pour egg-cream mixture over the apples.

Mix 100 g sugar, the butter, ground nuts and crumbs together. Use less sugar if your apples are not extremely tart. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the egg-cream mixture.

Bake about one hour.

[Apfelkuchen fresh from the oven, with a bowl of apples; copyright 2013 Susan J. Talbutt]

A typical fruit pie for the Stuttgart area. The recipe is from my grandmother's sister-in-law, Tante Maria.

In my memories, Maria is always smiling and laughing, and seated with her (step) sister-in-law Matilda. Maria and Matilda were close friends as children, and became family when Maria married Matilda's step-brother. They were typical of their generation: no University education, but still smart, strong, very capable and happy with their blessings. Their husbands died at about the same time, and they wore mourning together. They lived half a mile from each other and saw each other every day.

Today, they are all gone now. I want to believe they are together again, and with Julie, Adolf, Ernst, Ernst, Frieda, Otto, Bertha and Frederika, drinking coffee and eating apple tart with Schlagsahne.

Traditionally, my aunts make this with the tartest, sourest apples they can find, a Swabian heirloom variety that will make your entire face pucker, it's so tart. Granny Smith is an acceptable substitute, but you can reduce the sugar in the streusel.