➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
When I saw Anne Schrader's German blueberry cake, aka Blaubeerkuchen, in my Kaffeeklatscher Facebook group, I just knew I had to ask her for the recipe. I'm so excited that she agreed to share it with us!
Excited because living in Canada, I can get amazing fresh blueberries, just perfect for this treat.
The Lueneburg Heath in in the northeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany is Germany's largest blueberry-producing region and one of the largest in Europe. The blueberries, aka Heidelbeeren or Blaubeeren, weren't ripe when we were there, but this photo will surely make you want to visit as well.
When Anne sent me her recipe, she also wrote a "bit" about it and its history. She added: We've enjoyed the cake - it seems a little bit disappears each time we walk through the kitchen, which is one reason I don't bake regularly! We have a small house and you have to go through the kitchen to go anywhere!"
I'm letting Anne tell you exactly what she told me ...
As to the history of the Blueberry Kuchen recipe, well it’s pretty straight forward.
In the early ‘80s our house was next door to a wonderful family. The couple had 5 adult children, with 2 of their daughters living at home, one daughter living out of state and both of their sons worked in the family business with their dad.
The Gillies just “took us in” and treated us like family. My daughter was about 4 at the time and they only had grandsons living in the area, so they loved having a little girl around. Their daughter, Mary, had worked in restaurants for a while and we shared our interest in food and baking.
Her mother was a wonderful cook and needless to say, the girls learned their way around the kitchen! When Mary provided me with the Blueberry Kuchen recipe that I had enjoyed at their house, I was thrilled.
It has been one I’ve made throughout the years, although this year (2020), in particular it seemed so appropriate to make something I remember from a carefree summer so many years ago.
I also asked Anne for a bit of her background. I'm going to add just what she wrote right below the recipe. As you will see, she's quite the writer and told me to shorten it as needed. I couldn't. I enjoyed reading it all, so I thought you would as well!
➤ by Anne Schrader
I am attaching a photo from December 2019, taken with my dearest friend, Denise Thomas (on the left).
We do a Christmas market cruise in Germany every year and last year we were on the Danube from Vienna to Nuremberg. (That’s one of the perks of owning a travel agency!)
But in December, Denise found a class that we could take to learn how to bake Lebkuchen while we were in Nuremberg.
As far as my background with baking, it’s really funny. I made my first “scratch” cake at the age of 4 (I’m now 68).
I stayed with my Mammaw (grandmother) everyday while my mom worked. Mammaw baked every day, either cakes to be frozen should one of the church members or town’s residents “passed” or to ALWAYS have a fresh one should a friend drop by for coffee and, and naturally, so my Gran (grandfather) had dessert after his evening meal.
Hot bread daily, pies and when the weather wasn’t too humid, candy.
Along with her baking, she loved to garden; always had flowers to move and replant And, of course, her clothesline was always full of beautifully laundered linens & clothes.
The latter is why I had access to baking. I was her kitchen “helper”, too little to assist with laundry.
Mammaw had just finished baking a cake and unlike most days, she didn’t put the ingredients away after their use. So, when the timer went off indicating the wash was finished, she went outside to the wash house and left me and the ingredients together in the kitchen!
I proceeded to “not have idle hands” (because you know what happens with that!) and I proceeded to make a chocolate cake!
It was in the oven by the time she returned to the house so there was nothing to do but wait for the results!
Luckily, she proclaimed I had done a good job, although I remember she told me that it could have used more sugar. She fixed that by adding a layer of apricot jam between the layers, frosting it and voilà – a masterpiece! I had officially started my baking career!
I worked in my school cafeteria for 9 years, progressing from clearing tables after lunch period to cooking on the line for the entire school (might not be too impressive if you knew the school only had around 200 students grades 1-12).
All of the cooks and kitchen staff were moms of the students. A couple of recipes I still cook today I learned there, but especially macaroni and cheese – I’m still mystified why so many places make it so difficult to cook. My granddaughter has proclaimed it the “best in the world”!
During my last 2 years of high school, I also worked part time as a waitress and short order cook for a local restaurant. I learned so many things from the owners and can make hamburgers, fries, hotdogs and steak fingers for a crowd without thinking about it!
It took me 13 years to truly decide what I wanted to do and after 16 years after my high school graduation, I finally got my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1986!
I took a position for an intern job with the US Army Morale and Support Division. At basic training, I graduated top of my class in their Food Enhancement Program, which in my mind, was the culmination of many years of working in various restaurant jobs, but mainly learning my cooking skills from my wonderful grandmother!
Oh, lest I forget, my mom did cook, but my brothers always said they’d marry a girl that was fun and loved sports like our mom, but cooked like our Mammaw!
I married Hank in 1986 and believe me, my cooking skills progressed considerably! He had traveled the world, an Army officer, son of an Army officer and except for not really liking vegetables, fish (except shellfish) and not caring at all for my favorite, liver and onions, well, he taught me to be adventurous with spices and use my nose and taste buds to experiment!
Back when he was working full time (I should say for someone besides our business) we cooked and entertained a lot. When we moved back to Texas in 2001, we really put most of that on “hold”.
At one point when we lived in Wisconsin, we were featured in our local news for his grilling expertise and my marinates. Actually, we were enrolled in a German language class and our teacher was a young lady whose “day job” was a reporter for the paper.
She encouraged us to let her write a special interest story about us. Our daughter was in high school and literally “demanded” that the only way we could be pictured in the paper was if Hank got a new grill to replace the one that truly had seen better days.
I’m not sure if he had encouraged her to give me the “or else”, but he did end up with a new Weber, and truthfully, I didn’t regret the expense one bit!
Now this is what I had written and as you’ll see I can really get into my stories. It’s a family trait – my brother’s wife always asks us both “if our caboose ever gets into the station”!
And actually it does, but it sure travels around before then!
Anne Schrader, CTC, ACC, LCS, DS
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