Update: Congratulations to Linda, our winner for the Frieda’s giveaway! Thank you to everyone who participated – We hope you enjoyed the dinner and the company!
What a great (virtual) dinner party it’s been, from spinach salad at The Lunch Tray, to lamb chops and braised kale at Red, Round, or Green; to broccoli and sweet potato side dishes at Eat Dinner and Dinner Together. We’ve been to Texas, Rhode Island, and New York. Now I’d like to invite everyone to head out to sunny Southern California for dessert at the Jolly Tomato house – and a fun foodie giveaway!
When I was growing up, my mom loved baking special desserts, but she wasn’t much for gooey cakes with frosting; she preferred to use fresh fruit whenever possible. So we might have baked apples, or a berry crumble, or some sort of pie for our sweet treat. But often if we had a surplus of any kind of seasonal fruit, she’d make a kuchen, which is German for cake (believe me, I would put in that umlaut if I could figure out how to do it). There are all sorts of variations on German kuchen but her version called for a crumbly not-too-sweet cake with fruit and sugar and cinnamon baked on top. Whether it was peach, apple, plum, or even rhubarb kuchen, we’d always enjoy kuchen days.
In honor of our favorite fall produce, I decided to make an apple-cranberry kuchen. Given that we are eating unprocessed this month, I took some liberties with Mom’s recipe and changed around a few things. I used whole wheat and oat flours instead of the traditional white flour, and I substituted turbinado sugar for white sugar. These little tweaks gave it a hearty, nutty flavor – perfect for fall.
For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar (you can substitute turbinado sugar or brown sugar if you are staying unprocessed)
1/2 cup butter
1 T. milk
3 to 4 large, crisp apples, quartered, peeled, and sliced
1/3 cup fresh whole cranberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. butter
Preheat the oven to 350. Begin by making the crust: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar and mix. Using a pastry blender (see picture), cut in the butter until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Combine the egg and milk and add to the dry mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Press dough on the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate.
Arrange fruit slices on top of the dough. Prepare the topping by mixing sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and again cutting in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 50 minutes, or until apples are soft when pricked with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired (I like it best on its own). Serves 8.
Wasn’t that delicious? And isn’t it fun to go on a coast-to-coast dinner party?
As a thank you to everyone who joined in, I’m excited to offer this great giveaway from one of our Southern California favorites – Frieda’s, the specialty produce company. Frieda’s, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, introduced the kiwi fruit to the U.S. back in 1962. Since then, they’ve continued to bring all sorts of new delicacies to the American market. They’re our favorite go-to source for everything from rambutan to tiny potatoes. We also love reading CEO Karen Caplan’s blog, “What’s on Karen’s Plate” for her insights on produce and marketing.
For our giveaway, Frieda’s has generously offered to contribute a cool gift pack that would be any foodie’s delight. The pack includes:
The Purple Kiwi Cookbook (learn all about cooking with exotic fruits and vegetables)
Frieda’s Tomato Toss (dried tomato and veggie mix)
Black Garlic (aged and fermented Korean garlic)
PLUS a reusable bag, pen & notepad; as well as Frieda’s coupons
Want to win? Sure you do! Simply leave a comment on this story by 9 pm (Pacific time) on Saturday, October 29. We’ll choose the winner via Random.org and announce it here on Monday.
Thanks for celebrating Food Day with us, and happy eating!
*Blogger disclosure, a.k.a. the fine print: I was not compensated for doing this giveaway. The opinions expressed are my own.