How to cook kuchen, German filed pastry

RECIPE FINDER

March 29, 2000|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

Betty Noga of Terrebonne, Ore., wrote that she would greatly appreciate "a recipe for kooka. I'm not sure I spelled it correctly, but I enjoyed it as a child in a German friend's home."

Her response came from Leila Wolf of Rapid City, S.D., who advised that the German word is kuchen, which is pronounced kooken.

Mary McClelland of Rosedale wrote that she'd like a recipe for pickled hard-boiled eggs. "Hope someone out there has one. I'd be ever so grateful."

Her response came from Audrey Roberts of Essex, who wrote, "I discovered this recipe when my sons were small and I had lots of Easter eggs left over. It's easy, delicious and doesn't take much time."

Soft-Dough Kuchen

Serves 12

DOUGH:

8 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup shortening

2 packages dry yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water

2 cups warm milk

3 eggs

FILLING:

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup cream

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in small amount water

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

optional: fruit such as prunes, apricots, apples or peaches; cottage cheese or chocolate chips

Combine flour, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening (as for a pie crust). Add remaining ingredients for dough and mix well into a soft, smooth dough. Let it rise 1 1/2 hours or more, until doubled in size. Grease two 9-inch pie pans and hands. Divide dough in half and push down into pie pans and up sides.

To make filling, combine and boil ingredients, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool. Divide mixture in half. Spread on dough in each pie pan. Fruit may be added to mixture, such as prunes, apricots, apples or peaches. Also, cottage cheese or chocolate chips may be added. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "There is definitely not enough filling to fill both pie pans of dough, without adding fruit, cottage cheese or chocolate chips. I suggest adding a half a can of drained cling peaches to the filling in each pie pan. If you want to make the kuchen without fruit or cottage cheese, I suggest making only half a recipe of dough and the full recipe of filling. This works out about right. The dough makes a soft, challah breadlike pastry and the filling resembles a simple custard."

Pickled Hard-Boiled Eggs

Makes 12 eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

2 medium onions, sliced

2 cups white vinegar

2 tablespoons mild mustard

1/2 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon mustard seed

6 whole cloves

Put eggs in a large glass bowl and sprinkle them with the onions. Simmer remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan for 10 minutes. Cool. Pour over eggs and onions. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "These will keep in the brine for up to a week, intensifying in pickled flavor as they go. They're a far cry from the scary pink eggs one finds in convenience stores. These still seem like wholesome hard-boiled eggs, flavored nicely with a tangy brine. These would be a perfect picnic packer."

RECIPE REQUESTS

* Charleen Ponton of Phoenix is looking for a casserole she sampled last summer. "It looked like a large flat noodle casserole. However, after tasting it, the inside had a custard-type layer with apples. Whatever it was, I'd love to have the recipe."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number.

Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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