January 24, 2005 12:58 AM | By Adam Roberts | 15 Comments

Kuchie Kuchie Kuchen: Blueberry Apple Kuchen from French Laundry

Simple is often used pejoratively. "He's so simple," for example. Or: "You have a simple on your face." Simple makes for bad feelings.

But, frequently when it comes to cooking, simple is best. A few fresh ingredients assembled wisely can yield great success. Such is the case with Thomas Keller's kuchen. ("Whachyu talkin' about my kuchen?" Thomas yells angrily.)

Now normally I am incredibly generous and I share recipes with you. As it happens, I've done some research on the matter. Recipes are uncopyrightable---only the language used to describe the recipe is copyrightable. Therefore, I am pretty safe when I share recipes with you as long as I don't do it too much from one single cookbook and I change the words around. But, alas, it's late tonight and I have much more posting to do. So if 5 of you request the recipe for this I will share it. Otherwise, buy the French Laundry cookbook!

Honestly, it's crazy easy. You just make this batter with sugar, butter, flour, nutmeg, and milk and pour it into a cakepan. Then you peel two or three apples:


And put them around the border like spokes in a wheel, and fill the center with blueberries:


Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes and look at this prettiness:


I mean honestly, people.

As for taste?


Fantastic. Not too sweet, not too not sweet. Just simple and perfect. [Although, it's much better hot out of the oven than the next day in the fridge. And may taste even better with Tommy's recommended cream sauce. Lisa whined that she wanted cream sauce. But she also arranged the apples and blueberries, so we'll keep her as a friend). And that's what we call kuchen.


dare i ask how expensive (and how tasty) blueberries are in NYC in late january?

Hmm, looks like I'm the first one to ask for this recipe. If I tell you blueberries cost five times as much in Tokyo, will you count my request as five and share the recipe? That and I can't get my paws on a French Laundry cookbook in Tokyo? Do I have your sympathy now?

Count me as request #2 for the recipe! Looks fantastic.

i'm adding my voice to the chorus for the recipe - it looks amazing. and good decorating skills: those spokes are something else!

looks abosolutely delicious!!!

i am most def. request number 3!

Request 4!
Man that looks good! And I've been baking up a storm recently!

Wait... I think I was #5... not #4

recipe! recipe! recipe!

this is my favourite French Laundry Recipe. I make it all the time. It's so easy, and hey - it makes me feel GOOD to sucessfully create a french laundry recipe.

When I published the photo of my attempt on my blog back in November, I got requests for recipes too. I searched high and low on the web for a version to no avail. Of course, I didnt want to break copyright laws by copying the recipe out from the cookbook. Anyone who is interested should just buy the book (it's a classic afterall), or borrow it from the library.

It's funny how different our kuchens look from each other!!! Yours is all neat and mine is all messy, hmm, what does that say about our respective personalities...?

I think this makes me #6. Please post.

That looks so good!

Request #7

Ok Kuchen-lovers; pens and pencils ready? Here's the recipe.

6 Tbs (3 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus butter for the baking pan
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup milk or light cream
3 to 4 Gravenstein or Golden Delicious apples
1 cup cranberries or firm blueberries
Cinnamon sugar: 1 Tbs sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.

HOW TO COOK IT: [I am going to write this in a dialect b/c that makes it more defensible---in your own words and you can't be sued!]

Yo, so you totally gotta be cool and preheat your oven to 350 F. Then ya gotta butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

Done that? Good work!

Now then: in a mixer bowl or by hand (right hand for righties, left hand for lefties) beat the butter, sugar, and egg together until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in texture.

In a separate bowl (the dialect dies here) combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately to the butter mixture. Do not overbeat; mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Peel and core the apples. Slice them into 1/4-inch wedges.

Spoon the batter into the pan. Press the apple slices, about 1/4 inch apart and core side down, into the batter, working in a circular pattern around the outside edge (like the spokes of a wheel). Arrange most of the cranberries in a ring inside the apples and sprinkle the remainder around the edges of the kuchen. Sprinkle the kuchen with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer inserted in the center of the kuchen comes out clean. Set on a rack to cool briefly, or let cool to room temperature.


But but but ... what about the cream sauce recipe?

*sad puppy eyes*

Umm, I searched for this recipe in my copy of the French Laundry Cookbook, but I COULDN'T find it! What page is this on again? Sorry for being so thick-headed.

Um.....is it just me or does this look more like Janet's breast than the cupcake?

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