Every year that we lived in Germany, I looked forward to walnut season. Fritz's mother did most of the collecting, but I was always willing to sit and crack nuts for as long as need be. Oh, how I miss lovely, soft, fresh-from-the-tree walnuts. A few weeks ago when some blogger (?) mentioned in a post that walnuts were falling on the roof of her house and waking her up at night, I actually had to wipe the drool off my chin. I've contemplated planting walnut trees, but here in Colorado walnut trees are under attack from the incurable Thousand Canker Disease. In my darker moments, I glumly imagine a world without walnuts.
In the meantime, there's still Walnut Cake to be savored on the weekends when we have Kaffee und Kuchen (Coffee and Cake). This recipe is from Fritz's mother in Germany. I think of it as less-sweet alternative to Pecan Pie. Instead of melting sugar in
Walnut Cake (Pie?)
70 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
125 grams butter
1 pinch salt
150 grams of flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix bottom/crust ingredients together.
- Cover the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper.
- Use fingers to spread dough over the bottom of the springform pan. Push dough up about 1" around the side of the springform pan. This dough will be the crust that holds the walnut filling, so make sure there are no holes in it. Otherwise, don't worry too much about this part: the crust is clearly NOT the highlight of this cake.
250 grams of walnut
100 grams of sugar
2 egg yolks
150 grams crème fraîche*
1/4 liter amaretto
- Grind the walnuts. I use a blender to grind them up 1/3 cup at a time. They don't have to be perfectly ground, but the more consistent the size the better.
- Mix all filling ingredients.
- Pour into the prepared springform pan with dough already spread out.
- Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F. When the top of the walnut filling solidifies and begins to turn golden brown, it's done.
*This is like sour creme, but not as sour and with a higher fat content. I've occasionally found it with the fancy cheese at our local supermarket, but I've also been forced to go to Whole Foods for it.