With summer now fully arrived, our intrepid Baking Club is taking advantage of the season. This month, we’re cooking from Luisa Weiss’ encyclopedic Classic German Baking. The tome covers everything from cookies to tortes and cakes to bread, and our group has been filled with talk of streusel, quark, and baker’s ammonia—all staples of the German baker’s kitchen.
Luckily for us, however, the book also has a generous reliance on fresh, seasonal fruit—in recent weeks, we’ve enjoyed the last bit of spring rhubarb with Weiss’s Rhubarbkuchen (Simple Rhubarb Cake), while expanding our horizons to peaches, sour cherries, blueberries, and more. Here are a few of our favorites from the week:
Schwäbischer Prasselkuchen; Lottchen's KirschkuchenPhoto by Tara Hardy-Laverty, Katie Schmitz Scott
Tara Hardy-Laverty took advantage of homemade peach jam to make the Schwäbischer Prasselkuchen (above left), a short-crust pastry topped with jam and almonds. The recipe for these Swabian Streusel-Jam Slices calls for apricot, another summer stone-fruit staple, but Weiss notes that any jam will work as long as it’s a bit tart.
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Katie Schmitz Scott made Lottchen’s Kirschkuchen (above right), a classic sour cherry cake, and recommended it as both a tasty brunch dessert and a great breakfast that wasn’t too sweet.
Anna Hashizume riffed on the same cake (below), opting for blueberries, noting that the lemon peel complimented the berries’ flavor perfectly. (This beautiful cake is also adaptable, as she notes it baked up just fine in a square pan versus the recommended springform.)
Of course, with winter-stored apples still readily available, the Apfel-Marzipan-Kuchen (Apple-Almond Cake) has been a recurring favorite. And why not, with its stunning good looks? Joy Huang’s version (below) received rave reviews at a party, and other bakers have achieved equally show-stopping results throughout the month. Don’t own the book? You can find the recipe (and the cake’s unique backstory) here.