I don’t know what it is about this cake. Everyone goes crazy for it.
I’m not the most gifted baker. I do it, I love doing it, but sometimes it stresses me out when the results aren’t as great as I had hoped for. Never with this guy.
Last night we had a Gartenfest, a little potluck bbq gathering with everyone living in our apartment building. Possible every single person who had a piece asked who made it or whether they could get the recipe. And even the gang of two year olds, who’s hands grabbed anything they could reach on the buffet, were pleased and face-smeared with the Kuchen.
Fonsis Aprikosen-Käse-Schnitten // apricot and cheese tray cake
the recipe is adapted from one of my go-to cookbooks, Alfons Schuhbecks Meine Bayerische Küche
Mürbteig // for the crust (short crust dough)
300 g flour (I like to mix ½ regular flour with ½ whole grain flour, mixing what and spelt)
200 g butter
100 g sugar
pinch of salt
Mürbteig (short crust) is one of the usual suspects in my grandmother and surely many other’s kitchens. She fought me the 3-2-1 recipe: 300 g flour, 200 g butter, 100 g sugar + 1 egg and salt. Now I can finally bake a cake without a proper recipe!
Simply mix all of the ingredients and knead them to a homogenous dough. Wrap it in clear wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for ½ hour.
Meanwhile, half the apricots and prepare the cheese topping:
Belag // apricot cheese topping
1 kg apricots, pitted and halved
1 kg Topfen/Quark
200 g sugar
ground skin of one organic lemon (or a pouch of Zitroback)
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
160 ml cream
30 g starch
100 g slivered almonds
Making the topping is almost as easy as making the dough. Start by mixing together the sugar and the eggs, adding the Quark, cream, vanilla sugar, lemon and salt once the sugar has dissolved. Finally sieve over the starch and mix in the almonds.
Now back to the dough. Making the topping probably didn’t take you half an hour. If you’re really impatient, go ahead and roll out the dough. However, rolling and placing it onto the baking tray in one piece does get much easier if you give it enough time to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (this is for convection. If you’re not quite that German and don’t have a convection oven, I’d go with the same temperature, but the cake might need a little longer).
Give the dough one more knead and then roll it out on a floured surface to a rectangle that’s a bit larger than the tray, so that it can run up the edges, too. Don’t worry about being super neat. Mine yesterday tore into 1.000 little pieces and I just stitched it together somehow on the baking tray. To transfer the dough to the tray, sprinkle a little flour on top and gently roll it up over your rolling pin, lift it over to the tray and gently unroll it again holding the pin by the handles. Works magic.
Using a fork, poke little holes into the dough and then spread the cheese filling on top. Lay out the apricots, skin side up, all over the filling and have them sink in a little. You may have to play a bit to figure out the prettiest configuration. For me this time, 950 g of apricots just made a perfect grid pattern. But if you have more than a regular pattern would hold, I say extra juiciness beats prettiness: squeeze them on!
Bake at 200°C (convection) for 40-50 minutes. Mine started getting quite brown in one corner after 20 minutes, so I simply rotated it. Keep an eye on it, if it get too dark on top, turn down the temperature to 175°C and loosely place a piece of tin foil on top. When you pull the cake out of the oven, it might still be slightly wobbly, but will set with cooling.
Let cool and then lightly sprinkle with icing sugar.