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Einen Krapfen

(Apple Walnut Tart)

by THL Johann Wolfgang von Hesse

This recipe comes from the 14th century German cookbook, Ein Buch von Guter Spise published in 1345. I worked from a translation provided by Alia Atlas c1993 and 1995, which is available on the WWW at http://www.medievalcookery.com/etexts/buch.html. This work was based upon a transcription published in 1844, the original manuscript was part of a household manual which Michael de Leone, the proto-notary of the Bishop of Wurzburg, had organized. The original is in the university library of Munich. The manuscript was dated between 1345 and 1354, and contains 101 recipes. The recipe used to create this dish was #61:

61: Einen Krapfen

So du wilt einen vasten krapfen machen von nuzzen mit gamzem kern. und nim la vil epfele dor under und snide sie wufeleht as der kern ist und roest sie mit ein wenig honiges und mengez mit wurtzen und tu ez uf die bleter die do gemaht sin zu krapfen und loz ez backen und versaltz niht.

How you want to make a fastday krapfen of nuts with whole kernels. And take as many apples thereunder and cut them diced, as the kernel is, and roast them well with a little honey and mix with spices and put it on the leaves, which you made to krapfen, and let it bake and do not oversalt.

I developed my own redaction for this recipe, as it very closely resembles a pastry that my German grandmother still made in her time.




Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat together Sugar and Eggs and butter, add flour until it becomes a thick dough which does not stick to your hands. Sauté the apples in honey for 5 min until they become soft and set aside to cool, drain off the majority of the juice, and add the walnuts and spices to make the filling. Roll out the dough and cut out circles approximately 3 inches in diameter, press the first circle in a grease muffin pan and fill with the filling, cover with another circle and pinch shut, poke holes in the top to release steam. Bake at 375° F for 25 minutes until edges brown, allow to cool and they should release easily from the pan.

When these tarts are freshly baked, their crust is quite hard and they are somewhat difficult to eat, however, store them overnight in a sealed container, and in the morning you have a wonderfully soft and tasty treat!