Whole Wheat Peach & Blueberry Kuchen

IMG_1108Having a quick, trusty dessert recipe in your repertoire is almost like having a secret weapon — especially when times are busy but you still want your midweek dessert fix. James and I usually have a sensible dessert almost every night of the week: something nutritious with enough portions to last for the week so that I only have to cook dessert once.

Fruit, of course, is always an excellent choice for desserts — eaten fresh or prepared in a simple crisp or pie. But, when winter is still in full swing, fresh fruit is not easy to come by unless you’re willing to subsidize its trip from across the country or stamp its passport! Even then, the quality is questionable since it had to survive being picked before it had ripened and shipped a long distance. Since we try to eat locally and seasonally, dessert is yet another special winter challenge.

IMG_0972Stocking up on frozen and canned fruits is one way to be ahead of the game in these fruitless winter months. Of course, our freezer and pantry is pretty well stocked from our crazy, u-pick excursions. For those of you who are maybe a little less enthusiastic about scrambling around in orchards and crawling around on farms, grabbing your food by the fuzzy stem; frozen and canned organic fruits from your grocery store are typically easy to come by and are usually a better choice than the fruits that are “fresh” and shipped in from all corners of the globe.

Today’s recipe is one of my favorite go-to recipes because of its seasonal versatility. It’s fun to make in summertime when the fruits are fresh and plentiful, but it’s a very special treat indeed in the bleakest of wintertide when a warm memory of summer and brighter days is most welcome.

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For this particular preparation, I used some of our home-canned peaches we picked this summer in Coloma, MI. You can use canned peaches (preferably in light syrup) that have been well-drained, or you can thaw and drain frozen peaches. For the blueberries, I reached into the freezer and brought out some we’d picked, this summer, in Fennville, MI. The good news is that you needn’t thaw the blueberries at all — just toss them in!

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A unique feature about this recipe is the ridiculously simple crust which tastes like a pecan sandie! Whirl the crust ingredients around in the food processor for a few seconds and then just press it into the pie pan with the back of a large spoon and you’re good to go — no rolling pin, lightly floured surface, or fancy pie crust techniques necessary! In fact, if you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this crust: chop the nuts as finely as you can, mix together with the other dry ingredients, then cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse meal.

Whole Wheat Peach & Blueberry Kuchen
Adapted from Simply in Season
Serves 8

    CRUST
    1/4 cup pecans, toasted
    1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter – chilled

    FILLING
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 cups peach slices – fresh, canned, or frozen (drained well, if canned or frozen)
    1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

    CREAMY CUSTARD
    1 cup low fat sour cream or low fat plain yogurt
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Lightly coat a pie pan with cooking spray.



    Pour the toasted pecans into a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder; pulse until pecans are incorporated, you may need to stir the mixture. Add the chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour the flour mixture into the prepared pie pan. Using a large spoon, press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan to form an even crust. 



    To make the fruit filling, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Arrange the peach slices atop the crust so that they are in a single layer (peaches must be thawed and drained before adding). Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle the blueberries atop the peaches. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.



    Meanwhile, assemble the creamy custard ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, sugar, and vanilla; whisk until creamy.

Remove the kuchen from the oven. Pour the custard over the fruit evenly, spread to cover. Bake for another 30-25 minutes or until set in the center. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

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Be sure to let the kuchen cool completely before you attempt to serve it. All those fruit juices need time to thicken and absorb back into the filling. I find, too, that the kuchen tastes peachier and sweeter if served chilled.

In case you were puzzled, kuchen (pronounced “COO-hen”) is German for “cake” — though many different types of desserts might be called a kuchen. The most common types of kuchens are what we might call coffee cake and — as it happens — they are typically eaten with coffee. Today’s recipe, however, is a unique adaptation of the word because it more closely resembles what we could call pie. No matter what you want to call it, it’s an easy recipe that provides a bright and delicious taste of summer you can enjoy any time of year.

(Approximate nutrition facts: 1 slice = 268 calories, 13g total fat [6g sat., 4g mono., 1g poly.], 53mg cholesterol, 111mg sodium, 3g fiber.)

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~ by Jason on February 17, 2011.

3 Responses to “Whole Wheat Peach & Blueberry Kuchen”

  1. Yum, Yum. I still think you should publish a cookbook with your descriptions, pictures, etc. Hugs, and love.

  2. Jason, Aunt Margie would be proud as I am 🙂
    And Paw paw Willie and Maw Maw Patsy…
    I love you… MOM

  3. I been missing the blog!!! No time for updates?

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