Saturday, August 20, 2011


Boysenberry Kuchen

The recipe for this awesome dessert comes from my dear friend Debbie Gillentine.  I hope she doesn't mind me giving away her recipe.
When I saw Debbie make this, she used black berries she'd picked herself, and it was AMAZING.  I think fresh berries are really the way to go.  The nuts and bolts of this dessert are quite basic: a shortbread crust & topping (same mixture, divided) and a fruit filling, baked to a definite brown.  The butter flavor and the crispness, along with the sweet fruit filling create some sort of magic.  The recipe Debbie was using was all in German with metric weight measurements, and she said she'd translate it and email it to me.  I had to harass her to just translate it for me and then I went to a baking conversion website for the measurements.  What you see below is what I came up with, and it seemed to work.  My only problem was that my bottom crust was too gooey.  I need to ask Debbie what to do about that.  Nonetheless, it tasted fabulous.  Thanks, Deb!
I also have a recipe for a mini version of this fabulous dessert. Check it out: Mini Blackberry Kuchen.

Kuchen (or Kirsch Kuchen)

  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 10 oz. jar of Smucker's Simply Fruit (I used boysenberry) OR *cherry filling described below OR ** blackberry filling, also below
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix flour, sugar, salt and then cut in cold butter until there are no more chunks of butter & mixture is the texture of damp sand.  Add vanilla in as you are processing the butter.  Put the bowl in the fridge while working on the filling.

Using a buttered springform pan (I used a 9 1/2" pan), gently press about 2/3 of the streusel mixture into the bottom and up the sides.  Spread the the Simply Fruit over the bottom OR pour the hot filling into the baking form (if you've made the cherry filling).  Use the remaining streusel as the topping, sprinkling it in clumps over the top.  I placed my spring form pan on a cookie sheet because I suspected the butter would ooze out, which it did, but I think that may be why my bottom crust seemed underbaked.  Next time I think I will try a sheet of foil under the pan to catch any seepage. 

Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until light brown on top and sides. 
Let it cool completely.  Many German cakes are made in advance and left on the counter until needed. Debbie doesn't refrigerate hers, she just leaves it on the counter for a few days … but she says it never lasts that long.

*Cherry Filling
  • 1 jar of Morello cherries (sour cherries)
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • juice from half a lemon

Strain cherries and reserve juices.  Blend the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the cherry juice to a pan and mix in the sugar & cornstarch mixture and the lemon juice.  Bring to a boil to thicken the juices to a pie filling type of consistency.  It gets thicker as it cools later on.  Remove the pan from heat adding the cherries, vanilla extract and almond extract and gently blend. 

**Blackberry Filling
  • 12-16 oz. frozen blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, mix the berries, sugar, and then add the cornstarch/water mixture.  Bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly with a silicone or rubber spatula.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts.  Allow to cool before using in the kuchen.


  1. This is perfect! I have a bag of blueberries sitting around... too little to make jam. I have a good shortcrust recipe (if you're interested) but will follow this recipe for the filling. I'd love to get my hands on some boysenberry tho .... love the fruit! Btw, may I know the size of the pan you used? Thanks.

  2. Ping, I used a 9 1/2 inch spring form pan. I think that may be an odd size. I think 9" or 10" would probably work fine. I'll have to check your blog later to see if you tried it with the blueberries.

  3. Kelly, love this recipe! Glad you bugged me for it 'cause you always improve any recipe you make :) I use a 9" springform and it works great.
    You mentioned your bottom crust was gooey - wondering if you used parchment paper? Sort of looks like that from the picture. I find there is enough butter in this recipe that the crust crisps up nice without parchment and yet still loosens easily when ready to serve. In Germany we often made the kuchen the day before it was served and left it out on the counter. So yummy!!
    Debbie G :)

    1. Hi, Deb! Yes, I did use parchment paper. That must have been my problem. I do like the little ones, though because they get all crisp all the way around. I'll have to try it again in the spring form pan without the paper. :) I miss you, Deb!

  4. Did you try the recipe again without parchment and did the crust crisp up? Thank you.

    1. I have not tried a large kuchen again. I like the mini version so much that those are what I make when I want kuchen.


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