Apple-Cranberry Kuchettes

Do you ever make up words? You know, you can’t find just the right word to describe something, then something crazy comes across your mind, and before you know it…………. out it comes, right through your mouth………………..

That’s exactly what happened when we were taking the pictures of these lovely little desserts…. I’ve been making this recipe for Apple Kuchen (pronounced koo-khuh n), a quintessential German dessert, for what seems like a hundred years, (you can read more about my life-long kuchen affair here) but I’ve always prepared it in a large springform pan. I decided to try something different this time, something a little more festive, so I added cranberries and swapped out the springform for some individual sized tart pans.

My husband asked what these little desserts were called so he could enter it in the computer. (we’re trying to keep our photos in some semblance of order!) I told him they were little apple-cranberry kuchens. He said “since they’re small and individual, how about calling them kuchettes?” A great idea!

So kuchettes they are,  such a fun name! But if a guest of yours happens to be a real true German, just call them little apple kuchens, or you just might be arrested by the kuchen-police! 🙂

They came out so pretty, I may never go back to the spring form pan! They freeze beautifully, so another advantage to making them this way is that leftovers can be saved in the freezer for another special occasion. Of course at my house that really doesn’t work in reality as well as it sounds in theory – I have a few sweet-sleuths in the family who know just where to look! 🙂
Our daughter spent a year as an exchange student in Germany. One day she made this kuchen as a treat  for her host family and they LOVED it. They said “this is better than the German apple kuchen!”. That was truly a compliment!
P.S. This is delicious served with a dollop of whipped cream, but our favorite is to warm it and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, YUM! A drizzle of Ridiculously Easy Salted Caramel Sauce will send your family and friends right into kuchen-heaven!

Apple-Cranberry Kuchettes

Ingredients for the crumb topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
Ingredients for the crust:
¾ cup butter
⅓ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the kuchettes:
6 cups thinly sliced apples then each slice cut in quarters (I use 4-5 medium size apples)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Equipment needed:
8 4-inch individual sized tart pans with removable bottoms, available at mosts kitchen stores, also at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. For crumb topping, mix the sugar, flour and salt. With a fork, stir in the melted butter until large wet crumbs form. Set aside.
3. For the crust, cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add egg yolk and flour and salt. Mix until big clumps form. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and form each into a ball. Pat each ball into a tart pan to cover the bottom and up the sides (no need to grease).
4. To put it together combine apples with 1 cup of sugar and  l teaspoon cinnamon. Add cranberries and gently stir to combine. Divide apple mixture into tart pans, mounding a bit over the top.
5. Sprinkle streusel over the top of  apples in large clumps (I use my hand). Gently pat the streusel. Place filled tart pans on a large baking sheet.
6. Bake on the lowest shelf of your oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the kuchettes. They should be golden brown and the apples, when tested with a small sharp knife should be nice and soft. If the top looks golden brown but the apples are still a bit firm, cover with foil and bake 5-10 minutes longer. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of Ridiculous Easy Caramel Sauce. ENJOY!

PRINTABLE RECIPE



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