Bavarian Inn Apple Kuchen Recipe

Dorothy Zehnder is no stranger to the Mitten's "Little Bavaria." She began working as a waitress at what would become Frankenmuth's popular Bavarian Inn restaurant back in 1941. Zehnder became kitchen manager when her husband's family purchased the eatery, then Fischer's, in 1950. Since that time, this matriarch has made a name for the joint, serving up home-cooked meals like chicken, stuffing and mashed potatoes – along with German specialties.

Bavarian Inn Restaurant

Traditional Bavarian fare includes everything from bratwurst (smoked sausage) and sauerbraten (marinated roast beef) to kartoffelkäseknödel (potato cheese puffs) and apple kuchen (an apple pastry-like dessert). But you don't have to drive all the way to Frankenmuth to try Zehnder's fare. The mother of three – with 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren – collects 195 family favorites in her new cookbook, From My Kitchen to Yours.

Along with recipes, Zehnder shares thoughts on how life and cooking are intertwined. She points out that begeistern means "done with passion" or "enthusiasm" in German. The word also describes the 92-year-old's personality! "That's how I approach each new day at home or in the kitchen," Zehnder says.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups
  • all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 2 3-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
  • 2 Tbsp. apple juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, old fashioned
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine

Directions

Crust

In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in 1 1/4 cups flour. Press crumbly mixture onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in a 350-degree oven for five minutes. Cool.

From My Kitchen To Yours

Filling

Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Beat in egg. Pour over crust. Mix apples, juice, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Spoon over cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Streusel topping

Combine oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine to resemble coarse crumbs. Set aside to dry slightly. Sprinkle streusel topping over pie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until golden brown.

Makes 1 pie. Editor's note: Also bakes up great as bars!

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