The Träubleskuchen is a great Swabian summer tradition. It’s called Johannisbeerkuchen in non-dialect German and translates as redcurrant cake. This cake – like the rhubarb cake I posted a few weeks ago - is what I would call an ‘adult cake’. I didn’t like it as a child, probably because its moist texture with the currants and almond meringue and its tartness are too complex for the childish palate. I quite like it now, many years later (although I continue to have a fondness for sponge cakes decorated with chocolate and smarties). Unfortunately, our two currant bushes in the garden did not yield enough fruit for an entire cake this year. I therefore waited until English-grown redcurrants were available in the supermarket. They have now arrived and the season is short, so I had to act quickly. I baked this recipe in a 24 cm round tin. It would also be enough, I think, for 25 or 30 cm square.
For the pastry:
250 g plain flour
125 g butter
70 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
For the filling:
About 400 g redcurrants
3 egg whites
3 egg yolks
150 g caster sugar plus one tablespoon of sugar
Some vanilla extract or seeds, if you like
100 g ground almonds
A handful of sliced almonds and breadcrumbs each
Quickly combine the pastry ingredients and knead until you have a firm ball of dough. Line a greased cake tin of your choice and prick the base with a fork in a few places. Put in the fridge and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
When making the filling start by whisking the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar spoon by spoon and continue whisking until the mixture is firm and silky. Add the ground almonds and vanilla and mix in well.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with a tablespoon of sugar until creamy. Then fold in two thirds of the almond meringue mix and the redcurrants. Combine well. Remove the pastry shell from the oven and sprinkle the base with the breadcrumbs and sliced almonds. This prevents the base from getting soggy. Add the redcurrant mix and top with the rest of the almond meringue. Smooth the surface and bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes. Check periodically so the top does not get too brown. If it does, cover with some aluminium foil.
Leave to cool in the tin, but remove the cake when it is cold to avoid it from ‘sweating’ and getting soggy. This cake should be eaten fairly fresh. It is very moist and no amount of breadcrumbs can stop it from getting soggy after a couple of days. It tastes particularly good with whipped cream.
PS: A nice reader of the blog just pointed out that my blog so far did not offer a 'follow' option. I hadn't realised that this was the case. The 'follow this blog' function is now enabled and it is located on the left of the screen under the blog archive!