Summer Berry Bounty Cake (Swabian Träubleskuchen)

This recipe is basically for a traditional Swabian Träubleskuchen, a well-known seasonal cake in German baking that features a shortcrust pastry and a filling of redcurrant and meringue. However, I made a few changes to it. First of all, the recipe below sports a double crust with an inner layer of a dark hazelnut shortcrust pastry and an outside layer of pâte brisée. Given that the fruit will juice quite considerably during baking, this is meant to prevent the liquid from sogging through the base. Further, I made it with an Italian meringue rather than the French meringue used in the traditional recipe. Italian meringue is cooked by the use of hot syrup and rather dense and gooey. Again, this is intended to ensure a (slightly) less soggy result but I also find Italian meringue a better cake topping from taste and look perspective. Finally, and most obviously, I chose a filling of different types of currants and well as gooseberries rather than the typical redcurrant filling. This was more spur of the moment as I had just purchased a beautiful mix from the market – naturally, it is up to you to use either the traditional redcurrant filling or any other berry fruit that you happen to like for this cake – it will almost inevitably turn out delicious.

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The proportions below are sufficient for making a large cake using a flat tart pan. As you can see from the pictures, I only made a rather high cake in a small ø 18 cm cake pan since I wanted a somewhat smaller portion, but note that due to the rather juicy filling, the cake is not particularly stable – so the higher you build your cake – well, the deeper it may tumble… 😉

Sanni

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Ingredients:

For the pâte brisée:

  • 200 grams of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 100 grams of butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 30 grams of sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ca. 50 ml of water

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 85 gram of flour
  • 20 grams of ground hazelnut
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • 35 grams of butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 35 grams of icing sugar

For the filling:

  • 500 grams of mixed berries (e.g. white currant, redcurrant & blackcurrants, white and red gooseberries), stems removed, washed and well dripped off
  • 70 grams of egg whites, room temperature
  • 60 ml of water
  • 175 grams of white sugar

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Preparation:

Preparing the pâte brisée:

  1. Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto a work surface.
  2. Mix with the salt and sugar.
  3. Add the butter and rub between your thumb and fingers until you obtain a crumble.
  4. Quickly knead in the egg yolk and and water until you obtain a smooth dough that is neither to brittle nor should it be sticky.
  5. Wrap into cellophane and let refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, best overnight. (Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before use if left overnight.)

Preparing the shortcrust pastry:

  1. Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto a work surface.
  2. Mix with the salt, ground hazelnut and cocoa powder. (Best use a dough scraper for mixing.)
  3. Add the butter cubes (best place in the freezer for 15 minutes before use). Use the dough scraper to mix under the dry ingredients cutting larger pieces of butter smaller, if necessary. Then very quickly rub together into a crumble.
  4. Add the icing sugar and the eg yolk. Very quickly knead into a smooth dough.
  5. Form a flat round disk and wrap into celluphane. Let refrigerate, best overnight (if you intend to use it same day, best place in the freezer).

Baking the pastry:

  1. Butter a tart pan. Pre-heat he oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
  2. Dust a flat work surface with flour. Roll out the pâte brisée frequently changing directions until large enough to line your cake pan (including the sides). With the help of the rolling pin, collect from the work surface, place over the cake pan and line the bottom and sides. Cut off any edges hanging over the rim.
  3. For rolling out the shortcrust pastry, clean the work surface and dust with flour again. Dust the top side of the pastry as well (brush off any extra flour). Quickly roll out into a disk large enough to cover the bottom of the cake. Change direction frequently while rolling out. Lift off the work surface in order to let some air get under the dough (that will allow the dough to relax). Then cut out a disk of the precise size required to cover the bottom of your cake. Place the disk on the bottom of the cake on top of the pâte brisée.
  4. Cover the bottom of the cake with parchment paper and place baking weights on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then let cool down completely before further use.

Preparing the filling:

  1. Place the water in a saucepan. Add the sugar (avoid splashes).
  2. Heat up over medium heat.
  3. In the meantime, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff tips form.
  4. When the syrup reaches 121 degrees Celsius, take off the heat and wait until no more bubbles form. (If you do not have a sugar thermometer in order to determine the temperature, note that the syrup must be boiling but should not turn brown!)
  5. Then pour over the egg whites forming thin lines of syrup while beating vigorously (use an electric mixer). Continue beating until cooled down. The egg whites should adopt a very dense, almost glue-like consistency.
  6. Set aside approximately 1/4 of the meringue.
  7. Carefully fold the berries (ensure they are properly dry) into the remainder of the meringue. Then pour the mixture over the bottom of the cake. Spread evenly.
  8. Spread the remaining meringue previously set aside over the top of the cake. Either use a piping bag or the back side of a tablespoon to spread evenly and in order to form decorative tips.
  9. Place in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius (oven must not be hotter) and bake for approximately 2 hours using the fan function.

Serving:

  1. It is important to let the cake cool down completely before serving. The meringue will get even better when permitted to air-dry for another day.
  2. Note that the cake is bound to juice rather strongly. Ensure that you are placing it on a surface that can withstand berry juice when cutting it – it is likely that some will seep out.
  3. In case you choose to ignore the previous point, the delicious sweet and sour taste will make up for any stains on your table cloth – enjoy!! 😀

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