German apples are definitely the best. It’s the only fruit I really miss a lot when I am gone for a long time. Compared to many other countries where you can choose mostly between 2-3 apple varieties, in Germany (especially in organic markets) you can find such a rich diversity of varieties. They are all so juicy, tasteful, and each variety is so unique.
As we left Berlin on Monday I wanted to relish for the last time the uniqueness of German apples, so I made a delicious vegan apple cake the weekend before and topped it with a white chocolate plum glaze, as it’s also plum season here in Germany and it fits well 🙂 . The cake is super easy to bake and healthy, too.
Yes, this is it! We left our wonderful apartment in Berlin and are so ready to begin our journey to Portugal. At the moment we are in the South of Germany spending some time with my husband’s family, but at the end of the week we‘ll start our voyage. I‘m really excited! Autumn has arrived here in Germany, so I am more than happy to flee the cold, and I also really miss my family. I haven‘t seen them for 8 months now. But there is no doubt that I will take some good German apples with me 🙂
FOOD FOR THOUGHT – FOSTERING DIVERSITY OF VARIETIES
Around 1800 agricultural crops in Germany are endangered. When buying in a conventional supermarket you probably find only one variety of each fruit or vegetable. Maybe you never asked yourself why this might be a problem. Why cultivate different varieties, if one is enough? Probably they are all almost the same? That is totally not the case. Each variety is very different in what kind of conditions they need, how fast they grow, which pests they attract and of course in taste. Old varieties often are not suitable for conventional big farming, because they are time-consuming, too expensive, the crops grow too slowly and are different in size and appearance. The big suppliers prefer crops that are cross bred with resistances, ones that grow as fast as possible, on time, in great quantities, and where the product looks similar in the end. And when they see the danger of pests, they spray all sorts of pesticides.
The more diverse the cultivation, the lower the probability for pests creating a big damage, the higher the natural protection for future states and changes (like climate change) and the higher the biodiversity. Places where many old varieties exist in abundance are called orchard meadows, in German “Streuobstwiesen”. They are “hotspots” for biodiversity because there is a strong interrelationship between biodiversity and diversity in crop varieties. Endangered crops are a big part of the human cultural history, because they were fostered over hundreds and thousands of years and in such a critical time with big problems like drought we shouldn‘t forget our old knowledge. We should finally start fostering them even though the crop yields are not as high as conventional crops, and always keep in mind that conventional farming with conventional crops caused a lot of problems that are now starting to appear more and more. So when asking, why we should foster all these old varieties, the answer is, because they secure the genetic diversity and hold variability.
SERVES: makes a 18 cm bundt cake
100g white spelt flour
100g oat flour
50g buckwheat flour
1 tbsp cornstarch (=10g)
2 heaped tsp baking powder
80g raw cane sugar
100g vegan butter
150g plant based milk
150g unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 big apple or two small ones, cored, peeled and diced (1cm pieces)
50g vegan white vanilla rice chocolate
30g plum juice
NOTE: – the spelt flour I use is type 630 in Germany – I use vegan butter from Naturli – I diced some plums and brought them to a boil with a little bit of water (2-3 tbsp), left it to simmer for around 10 minutes and used the emerged juice as plum juice. But of course you can buy plum juice instead.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (upper and lower heat). Grease and flour a 18cm bundt cake tin.
Mix the lemon juice with the plant-based milk in a small glass. Melt the butter in a small pan and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir well. Then combine the milk, the vegan butter and the applesauce in a small pan and pour over the dry ingredients.
Stir until just combined with a fork or a wooden spoon. Mix in the diced apple and pour the dough into the cake tin. Bake for around 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it chill on a cooling rack for 10 to 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the sides with a thin spatula or a toothpick before turning it onto a plate. Let it cool completely.
Cut the white chocolate into very small pieces (almost grated) and set them into a small bowl. Bring the plum juice to a quick boil, pour it over the white chocolate and stir to combine. Let it cool down for 5 to ten minutes into the fridge. Be careful not to cool it for too long. It should still be fluid, but viscous.
Finally pour the glaze over the bundt cake and enjoy!
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!