My Mom’s Fruit Platz

fruit platz - trust in kim

Platz is one of the Mennonite treats I grew up eating. My mom, Omas and Aunts all made it. Usually we ate it for faspa, the Sunday meal that consisted of cheeses, cold meats, and homemade buns (zwieback), jams and pickles. As a kid I wasn’t a big fan of faspa, but I always looked forward to the platz for dessert.

Platz, sometimes called Obstkuchen, is a coffee cake that is topped with fruit, then covered with a sugary-buttery crumb topping.

The fruit my relatives used was typically plums or apricots, but almost any fruit works. For this one I used a combination of plums and nectarines. A tart fruit works well in here, like sour cherries or rhubarb, because the topping is pretty sweet.

The crumb mixture we usually called streusel, but sometimes is was called ruebel.

It was typically made in a 9×13 pan, but I made mine in pie plates so I could give one away and keep one.

There are many recipes for platz, and I think they are all good. This one is my mom’s, so it is the best! The recipe (see below) is handwritten by my mom and stored in a drawer up at the family cabin. She no longer uses margarine for this; only butter will do.

I love to eat this cake while it is still warm, but since I grew up eating the day-old platz that was baked on a Saturday, I also think it’s pretty good a day or two later. I’ve learned to heat it up ever-so-slightly to bring back the freshly-baked feel.

What you need for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • fruit, cut into slices

What you need for the streusel topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • a dash of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup butter

What you do:

  1. Butter your pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Crack an egg into a measuring cup, then fill the cup to 2/3 with milk.
  5. Add flour and milk alternately, ending with flour. Resist the temptation to over mix.
  6. Place the thick batter into your pan and spread it evenly to the edges and corners. Hands work well for this; just wet them a little before you start pressing it into the pan.
  7. Place the fruit in one layer on top of the batter.
  8. To make the streusel topping start by melting the butter. Add the other ingredients and mix together. Hands work well for this too, then you can use your hands to spread the topping evenly over the fruit.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Some of the fruit will begin bubbling through the streusel, and the edges of the cake will be lightly browned.
  10. Enjoy!

platz recipe - trust in kim

streusel recipe - trust in kim

Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Muffins

Oops, I think I’m getting the keyboard sticky. . . I just baked these, and they’re so good that I’m typing while I eat.  To be fair, they’re more of a mini cake than muffin – I think of a muffin of something sort of healthy, and I can’t really think of any health benefits for these except the sheer joy of eating them.  And joy is pretty good medicine, don’t you think?

I’ve been wanting to make a lemon cherry poppy seed muffin for a while, but I haven’t found a recipe I like.  I took this one from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog mainly because it had buttermilk in the recipe, which I think is the reason these turned out so light and cakey.  The original recipe is blueberry lemon, so I just exchanged the blueberries for dried cherries and poppy seeds.  I also made the glaze out of white sugar instead of the icing sugar the recipe called for, because I find glazes made of icing sugar have a bit of a tinny taste to them.

This recipe makes 1 dozen, but feels free to double it if you need more.

What you need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 & 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped (sour cherries if you have them!)

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

for the glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

What you do:

1.  Place paper liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and beat again.

3.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the lemon zest and juice, and the vanilla.

4.  For the next part make sure you beat only as much as necessary to incorporate the ingredients: Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, then 1/4 cup of the buttermilk.  Add 1/2 more cup of flour, then 1/4 cup more buttermilk.

5.  Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the baking power, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt.  Hand mix this into the batter until just barely mixed in, then add the cherries and just fold them in.

6.  Spoon into the lined muffin tins.

7.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They should have a golden brown hue.

8.  While the muffins are baking, put the glaze ingredients in a pot and heat enough for them to melt together.

9.  When the muffins are baked, place them on a rack to cool and glaze them right away.

I recommend eating them while they are still warm, but I’m sure they’ll be almost as good when they’ve cooled.