Rhubarb-Strawberry-Apple Pie

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Rhubarb is back in season, and if you can remember from last year, I go absolutely crazy whenever rhubarb hits the markets.

It’s not a joke, it’s something I take very seriously! I love it. It’s just so easy to make and I love the crisp and sour taste!

Last year I made Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Cake and Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Tartlets. I was tempted to just go back and repeat these recipes because I couldn’t really find anything that tickled my fancy but then I stopped and thought “well, why not do your own thing?”

Why indeed?

Among my friends and family I’m mostly known for three things and ironically I haven’t posted either of those recipes here yet.
As it is I’m known for my Chocolate-Coffee Cake, my Chocolate – Banana Bread and my Apple Pie.

Then I started thinking – I could make that Apple Pie and just switch apples for rhubarb. And yes, it really was that easy. Kind of.
I had to tweak it a bit as I went but if you’re like me and enjoy the hands on cooking more than the fussy weighing of the exact amount of grams, then let’s get started, shall we?

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Ingredients

400g flour
40g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g butter (unsalted at room temperature)
1 tbsp vinegar

1kg rhubarb
400g strawberries
1 apple
200ml strawberry juice*
50ml maple sirup (honey works just as well)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp rum
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

* I used strawberry juice but rhubarb leaves more juice than apples so I ended up having a lot of liquid in my fruit mixture which I had to drain out again. So you can either forgo the strawberry juice (as well as the lemon juice as rhubarb is already very sour) or you can just put it in and then drain the excess liquid before you put the fruit on the dough.

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What to do

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

For the dough you mix together the flour, 25g sugar, salt, 175g butter (room temperature and cut in small pieces), vinegar and 9 tbsp cold water until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in foil and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Wash, clean and cut the rhubarb and apple into small pieces. Don’t worry if they’re a bit bigger as it will cook and soften anyway. Add the strawberry juice, lemon juice, maple sirup (I usually always use honey instead), cinnamon and rum and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Wash and cut the strawberries and add them to the mixture. If you think this isn’t sweet enough you can add some (brown) sugar or more honey if you want to.
In a separate cup put together the cornstarch with 3 tbsp cold water and stir it until it dissolves. Add this to the fruit mixture and let it cook for another minute or so. Leave the mixture to cool.
If you have used the juice (or even if you haven’t) and the whole mix seems very runny, try to get rid off the excess liquid by draining it.

Grease a form with the remaining butter. Roll the dough until it fits the form, put it in and then prick the bottom with a fork.
Put the fruit mixture in the form. Roll the remaining dough and cut into stripes so you can braid it on top of the fruit.
Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush it on top of the dough.

Bake for around 60 minutes.
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A couple of days later I basically made the same thing but without the strawberries. I also tried my hand at braiding the crust around the form. With the leftover dough I made some rustic tartlets filled only with rhubarb (cooked with honey, rum and cinnamon – basically that’s all you need!).
It really is easy and such a fun and creative way to try new things.

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Lately

I haven’t had one of these in a while again so here we go.

Life is pretty amazing right now. Uni-wise I’ve accomplished all I wanted last semester and this semester is off to a very enthusiastic start as well.
I’m taking a French class, which, for the first time in a long while, I seem to enjoy immensely. I’m still discovering new cafés and restaurants in Vienna every day and the weather has been warm and perfectly spring-appropriate the past two weeks.
There are summer plans in the making and while nothing is concrete yet, all of the possibilities excite me so much, I cannot even tell you.

Starting tomorrow I will also be a regular contributor over at The Blogwander. It’s a lovely network for like-minded young women who chase dreams and adventures, who dare to do what others have told them they could not, and who make mistakes and learn along the way. Just like me. I could not be happier for the warm welcome I have received so far and cannot wait to get started over there!

The past few weeks have been filled with tears (which happens when your pony decides to unhinge a door with his bridle), laughter, some drinks, good food, impromptu dance sessions through my room (Ray LaMontagne has been on repeat for weeks now!) and long walks through the forests and meadows around my town. Seasonal food is growing in the woods and we’re reveling in all the ways it can be used. The good life.

It’s been an incredible start in the new year so far and more exciting things are to come (Prague! Paris!).

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As always, you can follow my adventures on Instagram. Come and say hi. I really am incredibly chatty ;-)

Zwetschkenkuchen (Plum Cake)

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Let’s embrace the fact that there’s still a lot of seasonal fruit out there right now. Like plums. I love plums because you can do so many things with them. Cake, jam, compotes,…
So yes, needless to say that I was super, super happy when my neighbours brought us a basket full of them from their tree.

This is another really quick and easy recipe if you have a lot of plums but no idea what to do with them or no time to make something more elaborate. The added cinnamon gives it a slightly autumnal touch, which is sadly, very appropriate these days.

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Ingredients
Plums (sliced in half or even quartered)
120g or 1/2 cup butter
150g or 2/3 cup finely granulated sugar
75g or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
100g or 3 1/2 oz ground almonds
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Butter to grease the pan (or baking parchment)

What to do
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Cut the plums in half (or quarters, however you prefer) and toss with the cinnamon. Leave to the side.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one after the other. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in gently with a metal spoon. Fold in the ground almonds.
Pour the batter in an appropriate (and greased, or lined with baking parchment) tin. Place the plums on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

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Marillenkuchen (Apricot Cake)

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Apricots are in season and this is kind of a tradition. We make cake every year and my gran makes enough jam to last me the entire year. So much goodness.
So when I was about to bake Coconut Cupcakes today my mum just raised an eyebrow at me and then nodded to the entire bucket full of apricots that was standing in the middle of our kitchen. Point taken, thank you very much.
This is the first recipe I found and one of the quickest, easiest recipes for dough I’ve ever made. Seriously.

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Ingredients
200g butter (unsalted)
200g powdered sugar
200g all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 packet vanilla sugar
1 pinch of baking powder
300g apricots (pitted)

Butter to grease the form (or baking paper, if you prefer).

What to do
Melt the butter, let it cool for a while then mix with powdered sugar until smooth and white. Carefully add the eggs and vanilla sugar. Mix and then slowly add the flour and baking powder.
Pour the batter into a greased form (about as thick as one of your fingers) and put the sliced apricots on top.
Bake at 150°C until a skewer comes out clean.

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Gebackene Apfelspalten

Baked Applerings:
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I’m on a roll here with recipes of typical Viennese/Austrian desserts. I hope I don’t bore you all too much, but these recipes are all just so easy and so tasty.
This recipe for example is something I grew up with. It’s something my great grandmother used to make for me often (she also baked elderflowers, which smell great but taste… like not much to be honest). Anyways, it’s also something I regularly ate at school for lunch, but never really made myself – until last night. I was pleasantly suprised by how easy, quick and well these turned out!

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Ingredients:

3-4 eggs
120g flour
1/4l milk
ca. 6 apples
some rum and lemon juice
a pinch of salt
some butter for the pan

Additional you might want to get some ice cream (vanilla usually, but I’ve also had it with cinnamon, walnut or pistacchio ice cream), or cinnamon sugar. I also reccomend you drink a glass of milk with it.

What to do:
Mix the eggs, flour, salt and milk until you have a smooth batter. I haven’t posted a recipe for Palatschinken (typical Austrian pancakes) yet, but this batter should be a bit thicker than that one as it has to stick to the apples.

Peel the apples and remove the core. Cut into rings and let them soak in the rum-lemon juice mixture. Dip them in the batter and bake until golden brown.

Serve with powder sugar or cinnamon sugar, top off with ice cream of your choice. That’s it.

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