Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The German Fruit Tart (Obstkuchen or Obst Tortenboden)

 
Summer time in Germany is celebrated to its fullest in the local market square.  Every city, town, or tiny hamlet has at least one market square with booth after booth displaying a bounty of seasonal fruits and berries.  Local farmers pick berries fruits only when fully ripe and aromatic.

It's almost impossible to walk past a harvest of perfect strawberries, peaches, plums, red currents, and other seasonal berries and fruits without filling up at least one shopping bag to overflowing.  Fresh fruit juices running down your chin, perhaps even before you get your purchases back to your kitchen or hotel room, is its own reward.  However, there are other ways of enjoying Mother Nature's answer to sweets made in a factory.

Some Germans preserve "can" fruits in glass jars to enjoy during the cold-weather months. Others begin layering fruits in sugar and rum to make a traditional Rumtopf.  Watch for my upcoming blog about Rumtopf  culture.  And let's not forget that summer is our opportunity to create thick, sweet fruit jams.  But the best berries and fruits are often selected for a higher purpose...

A Fresh Fruit Tart (Obstkuchen or Obst Tortenboden) is not to be missed.  One or more fruit varieties are strategically placed or joyfully heaped onto a delicious sponge cake.  Your personality and temperament determines if you are a precise "placer" or if you pile it all on with great abandon. Either way, it's all held together with a gelatine glaze. All over Germany, amateur and professional bakers alike create visually-appealing, edible masterpieces.


But it doesn't have to end there.  "Aber bitte mit Sahne" is a common request in Germany, loosely translated as "But, with whipped cream, please.".  Indulging in a dollop of sweetened, whipped cream is not a requirement, but it certainly is a compliment to a wonderful plate of summer's sweetest and juiciest gifts. So, grab a fork and enjoy!


2 comments:

  1. I would love to have a recipe for the tortenboden as they are not available in the grocery stores in Oklahoma. I prefer to do my own baking & appreciate anyone willing to share a recipe for the cake part. Thanks!

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    1. Here are a couple of links to classic German Tortenboden recipes. The "Biskuit Tortenboden" is more firm and cookie like. Once topped with fruit, it will last a day or so. The second one is a soft sponge cake version. Once topped with fruit it should be eaten within hours.

      Biskuit Tortenboden:
      https://www.kitchenproject.com/german/recipes/Desserts/Biskuit-Tortenboden/index.htm

      Sponge Tortenboden:
      http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/fruit-flan-recipe.html

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