Gedeckter Apfelkuchen - Apfelkuchen mit Decke

This is a German classic. Western European apple pies date back at least 500 years. Apple seeds were introduced to (colonial) North America in the 17th century, as were apple pie recipes. Contrary to popular (American) belief, there is nothing American about apple pie...

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Dough chill time: 2 hours
  • Bake time: 45 minutes
  • Decorating time: 15 minutes
  • Makes 8 servings.


  • Ingredients for the "Mürbeteig" dough (shortcrust pastry):
  • 300 grams "all-purpose" flour (D: type 550; F: type 55)
  • 150 grams fine crystal sugar (F: sucre en poudre)
  • 150 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt

  • Ingredients for the apple filling:
  • 750 gram apples
  • Weight is before peeling and coring
  • Which apple variety to use? The apples should have lots of flavor, not be too sweet, and not fall apart when baked. Examples: Cox Orange (classic!), Elstar (light sour note, flavorful), Jonagold (sweet-sour), Boskoop, Gravenstein, Granny Smith. Also: Idared (sweet), and even Braebrun (firm). See photos below.
  • 100 grams fine crystal sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams currants
  • 50 grams sliced/slivered almonds
  • 125 grams ground hazelnut
  • Optional:
  • 125 grams almond paste (at least 50% almond content!), crumbled
  • 100 grams candied ginger, diced


Suitable apples, in the same order (left to right) as listed above

  • Ingredients for the glazing:
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar (F: sucre glace)
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch-schnapps (or rum)


  • Large bowl
  • Springform pan (F: moule à manqué), diameter about 23 cm  (9 inch)
  • Plastic kitchen film (cling wrap)
  • Rolling pin
  • Medium size sauce pan
  • Paring knife
  • Small bowl
  • Brush


  • In the large bowl, mix the flour, sugar (150 grams), butter, egg, and salt, and knead into a dough.
  • Cover the dough with plastic kitchen film, and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C (390 °F)
  • Cut the dough into three equal size ( = weight) parts
  • Disassemble the springform pan
  • Form one dough part into a ball; lightly dust your work surface with some flour and roll out the ball to the size of the bottom of the springform pan. Then cover the bottom of the pan with it - no need to grease the pan!
  • Pre-bake the bottom for 15 minutes at the center of the oven, then remove and let cool
  • Peel, core, and quarter the apples
  • Put some water (not a lot!) in the sauce pan, add the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, currents, hazelnuts, and apples. Steam until the apples begin to soften. Stir once in a while.
  • Optional: cut the candied ginger and/or the marzipan into small pieces and mix in with the apples
  • Form the second part of the dough into a bar, and roll out into a long strip that covers the entire inside of the wall of the springform pan (should be about 75x7 cm, 28x3 inch).
  • Re-assemble the springform pan, line the inside of the wall with the dough strip (if the side wall is hot, the dough will just slide down, and you will have a mess!)
  • If the dough strip is hard to handle, just cut it across into several sections, and piece it back together against the inside wall of the pan.
  • Make sure to close the seam with the dough on the bottom of the pan!
  • Form the last dough part into a ball and roll out to the size of the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Put the apple mix into the pan, and distribute evenly
  • Cover the apple filling with the rolled out dough
  • Make sure to close the seam with the dough on the wall of the pan.
  • With the small sharp knife, cut several small slits in the dough cover.
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Let cool in the pan
  • Heat up the apricot jam and spread over the top of the pie
  • Let cool
  • Mix the powdered sugar with the schnapps some water and brush all over the jam layer
  •  The mix should not be pasty. If it is, mix-in some water, until it is thin enough to brush.

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