Fruit Kuchen

 

This is a simple and delicious treat for breakfast or a lite supper meal.  A fun plant-based take on an old German family recipe and easy to make.  Initially the directions are lengthy so you can understand the process, but after that it is not difficult.  We’ve made plum, peach, apricot, prune, apple, blueberry, strawberry, cherry, pear, and combinations of fruit.  There has never been one that we did not thoroughly enjoy.  So read through the process and give it a try!  Sometimes I get the crust thinner as in the slice below, and sometimes thicker but it doesn’t seem to make much difference when it is done.  The  cashew sour cream on this site works really well and freezes nicely so it is available to quickly make this recipe.

 

 

This is a yeast raised dough, but not picky like a bread dough would be.  It is a simple matter to mix the wet ingredients and yeast together .  As pictured below, the yeast needs to foam and then it is ready to quickly stir into the combined flours to form a very soft dough.

It is best with a little less flour than I used below, but it worked fine, just a little harder to pull together without kneading, which you do not want to do.

If the dough is very soft, a disk can be formed by hand on the counter and then spread in the plate with your fingers.  Since this was dryer, I rolled it with a rolling pin.  You do need a good dusting of flour as your roll or form so it doesn’t stick to the counter. The top should be smooth for applying the date sugar.   I would have gladly shown you the “perfect” dough, but the point is that you really can’t miss.   I prefer it to be softer, but if it is stiffer like we have here, it will just need a little more time to rise, which is an important step for any yeast-raised dough.

It bakes for only 9 minutes and then you turn it out onto a cooling rack.  Once it is completely cooled you can cover tightly and freeze, or proceed with the final steps.

The next step is the date sugar.  Measure it into the center of the dough and spread out to the edges with the back of a spoon.

 

Sometimes I do little small pies like the one pictured below.  I can half the dough to fit and do two different kinds.

Lay the fruit on the date sugar, sprinkle lightly with any seasonings you may be using.

Dust with flour– more if you have very wet fruit.

Drizzle on the prepared sour cream and sprinkle on the additional date sugar, getting them as even as possible.  Now it is ready for the oven and its final bake.

 

We had a lot of delicious plums this season as you will note their prevalence in the photos.  I never photographed the pear, apricot or prune.

Apple Plum

Peach Plum

Peach Blueberry

Plum

 

 

Fruit Kuchen

Yield: 8 pieces, one 10-inch kuchen
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Passive Time: 20-30 minutes for raising crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/2 tbsp honey or liquid sweetener

2 tbsp applesauce

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 scant tsp dry baking yeast

2 tbsp almond flour – press lightly to measure

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour* – stir flour and spoon into measure, level off top

1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour – stir flour and spoon into measure, level off top.

1/2 scant tsp salt

 

Topping Ingredients:

Ripe, very sweet fresh fruit i.e., peaches, blueberries, plums, apricots, strawberries, cherries, apples**

1/4-1/3 c. Sour cream, your choice, but the cashew sour cream on this website works wonderfully.  Add a half tsp of vanilla and stir well to incorporate.  Depending on your cream, you may need to add a little nondairy milk a teaspoon at a time until it is not stiff but soft enough to easily spoon over the fruit.

Date sugar, for a good appearance use a nice light fine brand like D’vash or Let’s Date available on the internet.  This cannot be replaced with other sugars as it is also the thickener for the topping.

Flour

Seasonings, you may add any that you enjoy.  We like cinnamon with apples, ginger for peaches prunes or apricots, cardamom for pears, etc.


Instructions:

Crust:

  1. Warm the milk and other liquid ingredients (not hot or it will kill the yeast). Add the yeast and let it work while you combine the dry ingredients.
  2. When the yeast is foaming up, pour this mixture into the dry and form it into a nice very soft dough; do not knead.
  3. Sprinkle counter liberally with flour and scoop dough onto it, patting it into a flat round disk. Using a rolling pin (adding flour as needed so it doesn’t stick to the counter) roll and turn as you would a pie crust until the dough will fill the bottom of your pie plate fully up to the edges, but not going up the sides.  You may also pat and spread it in with your fingers if it is too soft to roll.  It will fill a 10-inch pie plate that has been sprayed with food release. Any glass pan will work no matter its shape if the dough is the correct thickness, about 3/8”.
  4. Prick the dough with a fork.
  5. Cover the dish with saran and set aside to raise.  Turn your oven to 350 degrees.  The dough should be about double.  The time will vary anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on your room temperature.
  6. Remove saran and bake for 9 minutes, remove from oven, turn upside down onto a cooling rack and set aside to cool. Once cool, you can continue with the toppings and finish baking, or you can seal the crust tightly and freeze.  I like to double the recipe and put one crust in the freezer for another day.

Topping:

    1. Evenly spread 3- 3 1/2 tablespoons of date sugar over the crust by placing it in the middle and using the back of your spoon to spread it to the edges, getting it the same thickness everywhere.
    2. I like to slice the fruit onto a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture. Cutting the pieces 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. Lay pieces on the date sugar, covering the whole crust.
    3. Sprinkle on any added seasonings if desired. – It is also delicious with just the vanilla.
    4. Sprinkle the fruit with a good dusting of flour –a heavier dusting for very wet fruit.
    5. Spoon the sour cream over the fruit and then tap the dish on the counter to spread it a little more.
    6. Sprinkle an additional tablespoon of date sugar evenly over the top.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until crust is starting to brown.

 

  1. Let it cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing, longer would be preferable. It is also good at room temperature.  If you have leftovers, after it is completely cool, cover tightly and refrigerate.  Heat before serving.

Notes:

Any fruits may be used. in the winter I use frozen fruit, but it should first be thawed on a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture, or it will make the kuchen too wet.

*The pastry flour can be replaced with oat flour.

**If using apples, sauté the slices lightly in a little apple juice to par cook them, or they will remain crunchy.