A Squared: Thanksgiving Menu Recap & Cranberry Apple Kuchen Recipe

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving Menu Recap & Cranberry Apple Kuchen Recipe

Apfelkuchen- or German apple cake- is an old fashioned recipe that my Oma was famous for making among her family and friends. This festive version is perfect for your holiday table!

This season has been so busy that I feel like I barely acknowledged Thanksgiving at all. Since this is the food holiday to end all food holidays, I felt it only appropriate to do a little turkey day menu recap for you today-- plus a new dessert recipe!

For the past few years, Thanksgiving has been just my husband, sister, and me, which has been a really relaxed holiday-- and a fun time for me to try new recipes out on these two. This year, however, Alex's parents, his brother Patrick, and Patrick's girlfriend joined the three of us for Thanksgiving dinner. I have never served Thanksgiving dinner to a crowd of this size on my own and knowing that, I thought it would be better to stick to some tried and true recipes to avoid any cooking mishaps!

With that in mind, I wanted to share our menu with you today. As you can see, many of these recipes are ones that I have already shared with you here-- along with one courtesy of my friend Kit who got my husband to eat (and enjoy) mashed potatoes.

Apfelkuchen (or apple kuchen as we call it here in the States) was one of my favorite things that my Oma used to make. Her kuchen was present at every family gathering she hosted and often the fruit filling would change based on the season. There was a lot of apple, but sometimes plum or apricot too. Kuchen begins with a delicious pastry crust that is similar to a pie crust, but a little bit sweeter and more dense-- almost shortbread-like.The crust is topped with rows of cinnamon and sugar-laced fruit that becomes melt-in-your-mouth soft as it bakes. It's a great alternative to an apple pie because the fruit really shines on this single layer of buttery crust.

I knew I wanted to serve a fruit dessert alongside my pumpkin pie and I thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to bring out this old family recipe. I added the cranberries here as an afterthought, but they worked really well. Not only did they give the kuchen a more festive feel, but they added a nice tartness to the sweet apples and a gorgeous pop of color too!

I hope I did my Oma proud on this Thanksgiving dessert-- and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


For the pastry--
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cold

For the fruit filling--
  • 1 1/2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided 
  • 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until incorporated and consistency is very fine. Add the beaten egg and milk. Work the mixture with your fingers until smooth and the texture resembles pie dough.

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, toss sliced apples with 1/2 cup of sugar. Arrange apple slices evenly over the top of the pastry dough. Sprinkle cranberries on top of and in between apple slices.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit.

Bake until crust is fluffy and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.



  1. yumm! this sounds so good! i love the combo of cranberries + apples! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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