German Apple Streusel Cake with Brown Sugar Mascarpone Cream

By Laura Edgerton
September 30, 2018
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Author Notes: This cake is reminiscient of one that my neighbor shared with me years ago. We used to visit each other, each bearing wedges of warm cake or pie, and chat for hours over mugs of strong black coffee. The base of this cake stays soft and tender from the apples, while the outside develops an almost caramelized, craggy crust that is cookie-like in texture. Whenever I make this cake, I remember crossing through our sun-dappled backyards as summer transitioned into autumn, and the stories my neighbor would tell me about baking through the seasons in Germany.Laura Edgerton

Serves: 8
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min

Ingredients

For the apples:

  • 4 sour apples (such as Granny Smith), washed, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • The zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or the juice from half the lemon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated cane sugar

For the crust/streusel topping, and mascarpone cream:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I like to be generous)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar

Directions

For the apples:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped apples, lemon zest, juice, and sugar. Set aside.

For the crust/streusel topping, and mascarpone cream:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla. Use a spatula to gently combine all of the wet ingredients into the dry. The mixture will be very thick.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Coat a 10-inch round cake pan generously with nonstick spray and lightly dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Use your fingers to press about two-thirds of the dough into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared pan, creating a little lip all around the edge. Pour the apple mixture evenly on top of the dough. Crumble the remaining third of the dough over the apples, creating streusel crumbles.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through the baking time, until the apples are toothpick-tender, and the streusel topping is a deep golden brown. Let cool in the pan until easy to handle, then carefully invert onto a serving plate.
  5. Top each slice with Brown Sugar Mascarpone Cream. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and light brown sugar until smooth and creamy.

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