Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Plum, Fig and Walnut Kuchen

kuchen plum fig

As prune plums and figs make their appearance at local farmers’ markets and produce stands, I know that summer is coming to an end and autumn is around the corner. It was my intention to use plums and figs with the summer fruit torte recipe, but I found this wonderful kuchen recipe from local baking expert Flo Braker in the SF Chronicle. Kuchen, the German word for cake, usually refers to different pastries and cakes. Some yeasted and some with fruit and nuts. This kuchen is not yeasted, but it is bursting with sweet, juicy fruit and crunchy walnuts.

I made a couple of very minor changes to the original recipe. I halved my plums instead of cutting them into quarters (although quarters would definitely work better) and I omitted the ground cloves from the topping.

kuchen beforekuchen after

Plum, Fig & Walnut Kuchen
(from SF Chronicle Food Section)
makes one 9-inch cake

7 small prune plums, halved and pitted
5 small Black Mission figs, stems snipped and quartered

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz (approximately 2/3 cup) walnuts, chopped

1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 2-inch round baking pan and insert a round of parchment paper in the bottom and butter the parchment. The parchment will help you get the kuchen out of the pan. Set prepared pan aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in egg, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until flour is incorporated. Spread batter in pan, and sprinkle chopped walnuts over the batter.

Arrange the plum halves, flesh side up, in a circle around the perimeter. Arrange the fig quarters, flesh side up, in a circle in the center of the kuchen. If you have any fruit left, fit them in where you can.

To top the kuchen, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the fruit.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the edges are slightly puffy and golden brown and the center is set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour before removing from pan.

kuchen fruit
autumn is coming!

Prune plums are high in anti-oxidants. Remember, the brighter the ARF food, the better it is for you! Go visit Cate at Sweetnicks and see this week's ARF roundup.


Anita said...

Wow, that looks so good! I am excited about the fall fruits coming in. Gorgeous job!

Tanna said...

Mary, that is just amazing! I so wish my mother were alive now so that I could bake that for her. Figs were her favorite.
How wonderful that you changed your plan.
Gorgeous photo!

gilly said...

The kuchen sounds like a warm and comforting treat - lovely photos! I really must experiment more with figs!

Ivonne said...

Isn't Flo Braker wonderful?! As are you for baking this gorgeous kuchen.

The figs are glorious!

Dianka said...

Oh wow, this is gorgeous Mary! I'm excited for Fall, now that you brought it up =)

maura said...


I just stumbled upon your blog and I gotta tell ya- you bake the stuff that I like to eat!

The kuchen looks wonderful.

Mary said...

Anita - Fall is my favorite season!

Tanna - I'm sure your mother would've enjoyed it very much.

Gilly - As soon as I tried a fig fresh from the tree I knew I was forever hooked on figs.

Ivonne - Yes, Flo is wonderful and so are figs!

Dianka - As subtle as our season changes are in California, I still get excited.

Maura - I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

Rachel said...

That looks really pretty!

neil said...

Yum, yum that's all I can say. BTW I have featured you in Happy Blog Day.

peabody said...

Figs and plums....yum, yum.

gattina said...

you really know how to my mouth keep watering non-stop!!! Before was that summer fruit torte, now with this glorious kuchen... I want it now!!!

Ellie said...

What a fantastic combination! As a lover of figs, plums and walnuts, this is my kind of dessert!

jenjen said...

oh wow, Mary this creation has left me speechless. It's magnificent and a sight to behold. I bet it tastes just as good as it looks! I love the fig and plum combination, its just perfect.

Ashley said...

Beautiful Kuchen. Glad to see someone else as excited about figs as I am.

Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^= said...

Ok, I will be hosting WCB 65 this weekend, Sept. 2-3, 2006.
Everyone can send their links to my E-mail address: danbonnie1@adelphia.net or my Web page: http://misselliespage.blogspot.com/2006/09/searching-for-host-for-this-weeks-wcb.html
Hope to hear from you soon.

Mary said...

Rachel - I like how it sort of looks like a fruit tart without having to roll a crust.

Neil - It was quite yummy. And thanks for featuring me on your Blog Day post.

Peabody - Yum indeed.

Gattina - I'll send you a 'virtual slice' and I'll make sure to include the napkins! :)

Ellie - The walnuts really added a nice crunch.

Jenjen - I can say the same about your wonderful creations too!

Ashley - Figs are an amazing fruit.

Bonnie - Thanks for keeping me informed on the WCB.

Mae said...

That looks great! Autumn is coming indeed...

This is the first time i've heard of Kuchen and it looks wonderful :)

Anonymous said...


I just wanted to thank you for posting the German cake recipe. I made it yesterday and it turned out great. This certainly is a wonderful cake. Moist, light, not too sweet, slightly tangy, beautiful to look at and it tastes even better the next day. I including the ground clove in the mix for the topping. Lovely! Oh, and this is the perfect cake for non bakers like me :)

I will make it again, and again, and again...

Great with tea, for dessert and for breakfast. When the figs and plums are gone, I'll make it with pears and apples.


Ashley K.

Mary said...

Mae - This kuchen was a nice way to welcome autumn.

Ashley K - You are very welcomed. I'm so glad that my post inspired you to bake.

Sunshinemom said...

I made a vegan version following your recipe. Loved it!! Thanks.

Wish you a very Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

from one baker to another....your desserts are inspiring...and look lovely. Nice photos!!

Mary said...

Sunshinemom - Glad you were able to do a vegan version of this.

Anonymous on 1/8/10 - Thanks!