Cherry, peach, poppy seed, blackberry, blueberry, walnut, apple, cheese kuchen, and many others are traditional in southern Chile, are consumed throughout Chile and are often the star of our teatime. We love them!
I did this particular one in a square pan because I wanted it to be easier to cut and eat by hand. I took it to one of the gardens where I work to celebrate the birthday of our “boss” Sister Heloise. Our garden is within a convent of Dominican Sisters. Sister Heloise turned 83 with vitality and intelligence so impressive; she is a remarkable woman.
Dominican Sisters is one of the gardens I manage and coordinate now, my gringo friends from there are those who accompanied me over the years without a work visa and identity here in the US, they know me well, and I’m always happy to share with them these celebrations.
The kuchen is delicious, but I do not recommend using a square pan because it came out too doughy. Use a cheesecake or spring pan, 9″.
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Easy Cherry Kuchen
- 250 grams of all-purpose flour (2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 125 grams of softened butter (8 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. Butter the springform pan.
Beat butter until creamy, add sugar and beat until incorporated, add the lemon zest and egg, beat until mixed.
Add flour and baking powder, mix, add water, a very soft, moist dough should form.
Transfer to the pan and spread with a spatula creating a good edge so will hold the filling. Prick with a fork and bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
For the filling,
- 2 cups cherries or sour cherries, I used canned
- 1 cup of milk, I use semi-skimmed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
In the same bowl whisk the milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water and add to the mixture.
Wash and dry the cherries, split them in half and remove the pit. If using canned cherries, drain well.
Remove the dough from the oven pour the cream on top, while it is hot.
Distribute the cherries on top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard is set and does not move.
Let cool entirely on a rack before cutting.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Recipe for the dough adapted from the Chilean book: “Manos del Sur.”