APFEL KUCHEN or SCHWETCHE KUCHEN (Apple or Plum Coffee-Cake)
Basic Coffeecake dough:
2 eggs, well beaten
¼ C. milk
1 pkg. (or 1 Tb.) dry yeast
¼ C. warm water
½ C. softened butter
¼ C. sugar
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Grated lemon peel
2 C. flour, more if needed
1. Pour lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar in mixing bowl.
2. Add melted (not hot) butter, warmed milk, salt, lemon peel, and beaten eggs. Mix well.
3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Add more flour, if necessary, to make a smooth dough, and turn out onto a floured surface.
4. Knead very lightly.
5. Let rise for about 1 hour; punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Spread dough in 9-inch cake or pie pan, pushing it up on the sides as for a pie crust.
TOPPING for APFEL KUCHEN
2 medium sized apples
1/3 C. sugar (white or brown)
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 TB. melted butter
Peel and core apples, then cut into ¼ inch slices.
Arrange in overlapping circles (or in random fashion if in a hurry)
on top of dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes.
Note that the recipe calls for two cups flour, "more if needed." In total, I wound up using about FIVE cups of flour to get the batter to turn into kneadable dough. Rather than making one large pie-size kuchen, I split it into three smaller ones. I expected them to come out vaguely coffee-cake shaped, as I'm accustomed to. Instead, they puffed up while baking, so I wound up with three loaves of sweet bread with bits of apple stuck to the top. Curious, I tasted one of the three, and it seemed fine...just a weird shape. I packed up the remaining two and brought them along as prizes as planned, figuring the students wouldn't know the difference anyway.
They were the first prize to be chosen, and two students came to see me after school to ask for the recipe.
In addition to the food, I always supply non-food prizes, in case someone would prefer a reward that doesn't vanish the same day. Interestingly, the food is always what goes first. I'm sure part of it is that it's hard to resist the smell of cinnamon...but as one student advised a classmate, "You're missing out if you don't pick the biggest one!" A cake does tend to be larger in size than the non-edible prizes.
Tomorrow is the seniors' last day of regular classes before their exams start. A number of them are indeed studying...just not for the class that I happen to be teaching. It's a bit frustrating trying to review for the listening exam when the students have their history or Japanese textbooks open in front of them. At least the second-year students are still on task, for the most part.