My great-grandma was a veritable cook. She was highly proficient in making all those traditional Austrian dishes that use a lot of sugar, flour, yeast, and a pair of strong hands. Her fabulous repertoire included Marillenkn√∂del (apricot dumplings), Buchteln, Strudeln, and copious amounts of cakes studded with fruit or nuts, depending on the season. None of these were made with the help of any electric kitchen devices, they just didn’t exist back then.

Some of her recipes have survived, and a lot of them list the weight of ingredients based on the weight of the eggs used. Hens were really free to do whatever they wanted back then, including laying non-standardized eggs! The recipe for her Kirschkuchen (cherry cake) also relies on this concept, so it will yield more or less batter depending on the size of the eggs you are using. It is equally delicious with apricots or plums.

My Great-Grandma’s Kirschkuchen
3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
butter (3 x the weight of the eggs), softened at room temperature
sugar (3 x the weight of the eggs)
flour (3 x the weight of the eggs)
1 pack of vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon rum
fresh cherries (pitting optional)

1. In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Slowly add the yolks and mix until incorporated. Add rum and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
4. Beat 1/3 of the stiff egg whites into the butter mixture.
5. Carefully incorporate the remaining egg whites and flour, alternating.
6. Pour batter into spring form pan (26cm/10″ for medium sized eggs), and spread evenly.
7. Top with ample amount of cherries in a single layer.
8. Bake in preheated oven at 180C/350F for about 40 to 45 minutes.
9. Let rest for five minutes, then remove from form.
10. Let cake cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.


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