Hey, does anyone out there know what a schweinschtal is?... or what about a schweinerei?...
Please don't let it be that I am the only one who grew up quite disillusioned, thinking these words were part of the English language. Scheinschtal and schweinerei were the words my mom used to describe our room if (if?) it was in a huge state of disarray; "THIS IS THE WORST SCHWEINEREI I HAVE EVER SEEN!" or "YOU BETTER GET RIGHT BACK UP THERE AND PICK UP THAT SCHWEINSCHTAL!".
It wasn't until I left home and went away to college that I learned that there were quite a few "unusual" words in the everyday vocabulary I grew up with. You see, I was raised in a small Midwest town where at least seventy-five percent of the residents were of German/American heritage. Almost everyone had smatterings of German words mixed in with their English vocabulary.
That's why I didn't know that not everyone in the world knew what a "kuchen" was. We regularly ate apple, cherry, raspberry, peach... well, delicious kuchens made from just about every fruit you can imagine. When I went off to college and told friends that I was going to make a kuchen, they looked at me like I had lost my mind and often replied something like "what are you going to be koookin?" This is when I realized that perhaps I need to examine my vocabulary a bit. 🙂
Kuchen is a delightful German dessert and probably comes in as many renditions are there are Frauleins in Deutschland! The word actually just means "cake" in German but in this country, kuchen is usually a fruit-filled dessert with a sweet buttery crust and a crumbly topping. When I saw some beautiful plums at the market this week, I knew it was time to start koookin some Kuchen!
Plum & Raspberry Kuchen
¾ cup butter
⅓ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds plums, cut in half, stone removed and sliced
¾ cup raspberry jam
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds, then flour and salt. Mix just until big clumps form. Pat dough into a 9-10 inch springform pan (no need to grease).
3. For streusel topping, mix the sugar, flour and salt. With a fork, stir in the melted butter until crumbly and large crumbs form. Sprinkle streusel with your hand over top of the plums.