Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty – South Dakota – Peach Kuchen

Welcome to week 40 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome South Dakota, who joined the union on November 2, 1889, the same as its neighbor to the north. As I talked about last week, both North and South Dakota have the same date as admittance into the United States because then President Benjamin Harris randomly selected the bill order and did not officially record which one was signed first. Even so, ND is usually listed before SD (if for nothing more than the alphabet) and that is how I am proceeding.

Unlike North Dakota, I have never been to South Dakota although it is on my bucket list. As luck would have it, I am actually in Minneapolis this week, in the neighboring state of Minnesota! But where I would like to go see Mt. Rushmore, it is 9 hours away, so I guess that will have to be another time.

Speaking of Mt. Rushmore, I learned that the original design was to include the four presidents from head to waist. Unfortunately, the Sculptor Gutson Borglum died before the work was completed and funding was cut by Congress because of WWI. Regardless, I hear it is quite magnificent and I hope to see it in person some day.

In addition to Mt. Rushmore, the state is also home to the Lakota leader Crazy Horse, located in the Black Hills. It is designed to be the world’s largest statue when it is completed, extending 563 feet high and 641 feet long. The head was completed in 1998 and measures 87 feet. Again, something I think I would like to see in person.

When working on a recipe this week, I was again intrigued by the large influence of German settlers to the region and the foods they brought with them from the old world. I discovered a dessert dish that actually reminds me of my childhood called Kuchen, which is sort of a cross between a cake and a cheesecake, usually with a fruit such as peach or pineapple. When I was growing up in Rochester NY, there was a department store called Sibley’s that my mom used to shop at. They had a bakery counter (yes, a department store with a bakery!) and one of the best things they sold was kuchen. I loved it and always looked forward to our trips to the store to get one.

The recipe I found uses peaches and although it was very delicious, it was not the same as my childhood. Wish Sibley’s was still around. Do you think they would have shared their recipe??

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Peach Kuchen

Anyway, this dish was very tasty and everyone in the house liked it. It is not too sweet and has a nice texture to it. I would have liked the custard part to be a little more custardy, but I guess that is just how they make it in South Dakota. I think I will continue my search for the Upstate New York version, but for now, I will give this one a solid A and hope you will give it a try.

Oh, and so you know. I actually made this dish last week, since I knew I would be in a hotel in Minnesota and not in my kitchen. Not to miss a week, I hope it’s not a foul that I didn’t actually make this today. I should be home by next Tuesday (we are driving), but if not, I will catch you all up on Wednesday.

Until then… I guess I need to start planning for Montana!

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Peach Kuchen

Recipe for Peach Kuchen:

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 large can (28 oz) peach halves, drained and sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices

For the Custard Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400˚F
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and stir well.
Add the cold butter pieces and use a pastry cutter to incorporate until it resembles small peas (think pie crust).
In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk and egg together. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork just until it becomes wet.
Grease a 9-inch spring form pan and spread the batter on the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the custard cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cups of cream with flour and whisk together to get rid of big lumps. Add the rest of the cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well to mix.
Take the cake out of the oven and pour the cream mixture on top. Put the cake back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.
When the cake top is puffed, and the edges are deep golden and starting to separate from the pan, the cake is done. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.

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Peach Kuchen
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