THE ESOPUS SPITZENBURG
ORIGINS: ESOPUS, NY
BIRTH YEAR: LATE 17Th TO EARlY 18Th CENTURY SPECIES: MAlUS DOMESTICA
CREDITED: SPITZENBURG, A DUTCh SETTlER
Serves 8 to 10
In response to the recent heirloom apple craze, we conducted a little taste test with our pastry chef, Ron Paprocki.
Each heirloom apple varies in terms of its sweetness or tartness and the crispness or softness of its flesh, dramatically affecting how the apple responds to being cooked. For instance, when baking a tarte tatin, Paprocki likes to use the Braeburn apple as it holds up to a longer baking time, maintaining its acidity and texture.
When we came across the heirloom variety Espous Spitzenburg, best known for being our third president’s, Thomas Jefferson’s, apple of choice, Paprocki was inspired to make an Apfel-Streuselkuchen, a traditional German apple cake he remembers from his time training in Kassel, Germany.
It is a simple pastry made with bread dough and fresh apples. Traditionally it is served simply with a little whipped cream. The cake can be made with any apple variety, but try it with Spitzenburg for a true slice of American history.
BREAD DOUGH (Hefeteig)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 stick butter, room temperature
5 teaspoons fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a KitchenAid bowl fitted with a dough-hook attachment. Knead on speed 1 for 2 minutes, followed by speed 2 for an additional 6 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly greased surface and cover for 10 minutes to allow the dough to relax.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough to approximately 1/2-inch thickness. Carefully place the rolled-out dough on a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place a 10-inch cake ring over the dough and press firmly into the dough. Remove excess dough from the outside of the ring, leaving just the cake ring with dough inside.
6 each Esopus Spitzenburg apples (if not available, any small size variety will work)
1 each juice from lemon
Peel and quarter the apples. remove the core from each quartered apple and cut into thirds. Toss apples in lemon juice.
Shingle the apples in a circular pattern, following the ring mold as a guideline.
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 each zest from lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Hand mix until combined and a coarse crumble is formed.
Sprinkle over the layered apple in the ring mold.
Place tart in warm environment at room temperature to allow the dough to rise, about 1 hour. Place the tart in 350°F preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.