“In ancient agricultural societies, eggs provided a vital source of nutrition. By mid-March, food stores from the previous year would have been running low. The first eggs of the year, laid by domesticated fowl or foraged from the nests of wild birds, added much-needed nutrients to peoples’ diet. The custom of hunting for Easter eggs derives from the need to forage for wild birds’ eggs at this time of year.”
Ceremonies of the Seasons: Exploring and Celebrating Nature’s Eternal Cycles, Jennifer Cole, dbp, 2007
The Easter eggs are now of course mostly chocolate in our non-agricultural society and in this comfortable food security age we do not have to do without eggs during the winter either. This means that I was able to conclude a longstanding quest for the ultimate Streuselkuchen this winter – after years in Germany I have finally got it. It has to be shortcrust in the sense of “Mürbeteig”, and the filling has to involve custard or custard powder. Hermann the German is now very happy with the quality of Streuselkuchen now being served!
Here is how to do it:
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 + 20 minutes
Makes 1 Streuselkuchen 26cm
All purpose flour 225 g
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Sugar 100 g
Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
Butter 100 g
Pinch of salt
- Grease and line a 26cm loose-bottomed cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until creamy.
Beat in the egg and then the combined flour, baking powder, sugar and pinch of salt.
Press the dough into the prepared cake tin to evenly cover the base and the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.
Fruit – preserved from the pantry
or fresh in season approx. 900 g
together with accompanying or
complementing fruit juice 300 ml
Custard powder containing
vanilla flavouring 2 Tbsp
Sugar to taste
- Strain the fruit so that you retain the juice in a saucepan and set the fruit aside.
Stir the custard powder and sugar to taste into the fruit juice, making sure there are no lumps, and then place the saucepan over a medium heat. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time, and allow to thicken.
Remove from the heat and stir the fruit into the now thickened juice. Set aside to cool slightly.
All purpose flour 150 g
Dessicated coconut or
ground almonds, according to taste 3 Tbsp
Sugar 50 g
Butter 120 g
Pinch of salt
8. Combine the flour with the pinch of salt and then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
9. Stir in the coconut/almonds and the sugar.
10. Remove the chilled base from the refrigerator, pour in the fruit filling and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
11. Remove the partly-baked base and filling and sprinkle the streusel over the top in fine lumps. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes until the streusel has turned golden in colour.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin before removing. This streuselkuchen is best made the day before so that the filling is well and truly cooled and set before serving.