Gabi's Fruit Tart
Der Kuchen von "Gabi"
In our family, sitting down to Sunday Supper at about 8:00 PM is an important ritual of our weekly activities. It's a time to relax in the comfort of our home over a nice dinner and to re-charge ourselves for the coming week. The Germans call it "Gemütlichkeit".
The Kummel family in Albstadt, Germany enjoy a different "Gemütlichkeit" ritual centered on a home-made fruit tart. Every Sunday afternoon, Gabi bakes a fresh fruit "Kuchen" (tart), timed to come out of the oven at about 3:00 PM. After the tart has cooled to lukewarm, Gabi and her husband Hejo sit down to have a slice, washed down by a large bowl of hot coffee with milk. Gabi has graciously shared her "Kuchen" recipe with me as an alternative to our traditional Sunday Supper ritual, and with her recipe she has offered three suggestions:
"The tart is at its best soon after it comes out of the oven. Eat it while it is still warm."
"If the crust doesn't come out right the first time, try again. It takes a while to learn how to handle the dough."
"For a Kummel-style "Gemütlichkeit" experience, plan to take a nap after this midday Sunday repast."
Mixing the dough:
150 grams (3/4 cup) Quark
100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
1 pinch salt
4 TBS neutral oil (e.g. safflower or grapeseed)
4 TBS milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
200 grams (a scant 2 cups) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Forming the Tart:
Spread 4 TBS of crème fraîche over the top of the dough.
Baking and Serving:
Spread an even layer of sliced fresh fruit on top
of the dough in a decorative pattern and sprinkle the fruit liberally with 1/4 cup white
Whisk 2 - 3 TBS sour cream into 1 cup heavy cream. Place the mixture in a glass jar with a lid. Let it "cure" in a warm place in your kitchen for 2 days. By the second day, it should be a thick creamy texture and beginning to turn a very light yellow. At this point, it can be refrigerated for several days until you are ready to use it.