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 kooooookin?” 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 kooooookin some Kuchen!
P.S. Oh, and by the way, if anyone is interested; a schweinerei is a “pig’s mess” and a schweinschtall is a pigsty or a pigpen – nice way for your mother to talk to you, huh? (Well I’m not going to mention that she did happen to have a bunch of schweins (pigs) for kids!)
Plum & Raspberry Kuchen
¾ cup butter
⅓ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds plums, cut in half, stone removed and sliced
1/4 cup instant tapioca plus 2 teaspoons, divided
1/4 cup sugar
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 spring form pan (no need to grease).
2. Combine tapioca and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Combine jam and 2 teaspoons tapioca in a small bowl, set aside. Add plums to large bowl with the sugar/tappioca mixture and gently mix to coat the plums. Pour plum mixture into prepared crust. Dollop all over with raspberry jam mixture, lifting some of the plums to let the jam run down between the slices. Do not completely cover the top with jam, leave some of the plums exposed.
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 plums.
4. Bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Serve slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, YUM!