Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce

One of the items on my bucket list is a dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville.  My hubby & I love touring the wine country, good wine & good food.  This restaurant is very notable, for food, location and price.  Thus, the reason why I've not eaten there yet, not sure I want to spend the $$$ a dinner there requires. $500, for a dinner for two, would be conservative. But, if I was to win the lottery? I'd make reservations in a flash!

This apple kuchen comes from the French Laundry. If I can't go there I might as well try to imitate the food there! It is attributable to its original owner, Sally Schmitt.  She owned the restaurant before selling it to chef Thomas Keller in the 1990's.  This recipe is in his cookbook, The French Laundry Cookbook.

After seeing this recipe on numerous blogs, Pinterest and other Internet sites, all to great reviews, I decided it was time for me to make this. As it was our Stitch 'n Bitch day I made it for the girls there. It's a lovely cake, not real sweet.  In my opinion, it's a great treat for afternoon tea or a late brunch, as opposed to a dessert. Don't pass on the cream sauce, it is simply luscious. I could bathe in the stuff! 
I had no cranberries so left those out.  The cake was lovely without them. With the cranberries the cake would be a nice holiday treat!
Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce

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 (I used a springform 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. Sprinkle confectioners sugar on top, if desired.

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.

As for Stitch 'n Bitch?  I'm gradually making progress on my hummingbird project. I didn't work much on it over the summer but, now that the weather has cooled and days are shorter, I'm working on it more. It's not a difficult pattern but has over 43 colors so I'm changing out the needle quite often.  It makes for lovely shading but sometimes tedious work! I hope to have it finished before I get buried with tax season.

A Stroll Thru Life

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