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My recipe for German Apple Custard Cake with Creme Fraiche is a must-try for apple pie fans! This easy Swabian recipe is perfect for any occasion that calls for a traditional old-fashioned apple pie. Jump to Recipe
German Apple Custard Cake with Creme Fraiche – a Swabian recipe
I love the variety of delicious apple pies and apple cake recipes you find in Germany. This Swabian Apple Custard Cake could also be called an apple pie because it features a buttery crust filled with fruit and a creme fraiche & heavy ream custard – so not really a traditional cake batter. However, in Germany, this would be called Apfelkuchen – so apple cake and we will therefore call it a cake here too.
It consists of an easy German shortcrust pastry, topped with fresh apple halves and a creamy custard made with eggs, creme fraiche and a bit of heavy cream.
Choose your favorite apple to make this old-fashioned german cake or read my tips for the best apples for baking before you buy and choose the best variety. I used braeburn.
Why we love baking cakes with creme fraiche
While creme fraiche is often just used as a topping, I love making cakes with creme fraiche. It provides an instant upgrade and extra moisture whenever incorporating it into the cake batter and I love that added tang. For this recipe, we make a rich creme fraiche custard to which we also add eggs and heavy cream as well as vanilla. The apples simmer away in the custard and while it will stay wobbly and creamy around the apples, the egg custard will set on the surface. Divine. Make sure to let this cake cool down completely before slicing.
Where to buy creme fraiche
You can purchase crème fraîche in any specialty food store but these days even bigger supermarkets have it. I often found it in the dairy aisle mixed in with specialty cheeses – look for the mascarpone. Crème fraîche is usually more expensive than sour cream and it can be easy to make your own using this recipe. If you don’t want to buy or cannot find creme fraiche try sour creme, and use Mexican Crema or sour creme instead and add one more yolk maybe.
Shortcrust pastry tips:
A classic German shortcrust pastry consists of flour, sugar, sometimes eggs and then of course soft butter or margarine. The fat (butter or margarine) should be soft (at room temperature).The dough version with an egg is not so crumbly and slightly easier to handle. That’s why I always use it here. We want things easy.
First, put the dry ingredients for the shortcrust pastry in a mixing bowl, then add the soft fat and egg. Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook or a food processor, knead all the ingredients into a smooth dough.
What to do if the shortcrust pastry is too sticky?
Due to the soft butter in the shortcrust pastry, the dough can be sticky and is then difficult to process further. You can then wrap the shortcrust pastry in cling film or place it in a freezer bag and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you peel the apples and make the cream filling. It is best to shape the dough into a flat disk before chilling it so that it cools evenly and can then be rolled out more easily.
Rolling out shortcrust pastry
To roll out the shortcrust pastry on the work surface, first, clean it and sprinkle it lightly with flour. After resting, knead the shortcrust pastry very briefly and roll out with light pressure of the rolling pin. In between, carefully loosen the shortcrust pastry from the work surface with a long knife or a palette so that it doesn’t stick. Lightly flour the work surface again and roll out the shortcrust pastry a little. Whenever you feel the pastry gets too sticky, place it in the fridge. This pastry is forgiving and little rips can be repaired afterward once you have transferred the pastry to your cake pan.
If you are looking for a delicious simple apple dessert for the next cozy afternoon, I can only recommend this Swabian apple pie. Serve it with a dusting of icing sugar or with some unsweetened whipped cream. For more German apple pie recipes, also make sure to try my grandma’s apple cake with crumble topping or my apple sour cream cake – these are really delicious. Between all those recipes making apple cake will never get boring and there will always be something different on the table to surprise your family with.
You can keep the apple pie in the fridge for a good three days. However, take it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving so that it can develop its flavor a bit
Tips & Substitutions:
- If you don’t want to buy or cannot find creme fraiche try sour creme, and use Mexican Crema or sour creme instead and add one more yolk maybe.
- This cake has to be stored in the fridge. Try to eat it within 2 days .
- If you want, sprinkle the shortcrust pastry with ground almonds or hazelnuts before adding the apples.
More German Cake Recipes
Did you make and love my German apple cake recipe with creme fraiche? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
German Apple Custard Cake Recipe with Creme Fraiche
My recipe for German Apple Custard Cake with Creme Fraiche is a must-try for apple pie fans! This easy Swabian recipe is perfect for any occasion that calls for a traditional old-fashioned apple pie.
- 175 grams flour 1 cup + 3 tbsp
- 100 grams butter 1 stick
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- 60 grams sugar 1/4 cup
- butter for greasing
- 5 apples small to medium sized
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 300 g sour cream 1 1/3 cup
- 3 eggs
- 100 ml cream 1/3 cup + 2 tbsps
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 75 grams of sugar 1/4 cup
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
Pile the flour onto the work surface. With your hand,form a well in the middle, add the bsoftened utter in pieces, then break in the egg, sadd alt and sugar and knead everything together uickly with your hands to form a smooth dough. Add a little cold water, vodka or flour as needed depending on the texture of the pastry. Form a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes.
Peel the apples, cut in half and cut out the core. Score each half several times on the curved side. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Mix the creme fraiche with the eggs, cream, cornstarch, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 340 F top and bottom heat. Butter a springform pan. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface and use it to line the tin, forming an edge and pressing down firmly, forming an edge. Place the apples in the mold and cover with the frosting. Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes. If the cake gets too dark, cover with aluminum foil in good time. Take out of the oven and let cool down. I let it cool completely first, then put it back in the fridge.
Dust with powdered sugar.