What is Prasselkuchen? Saxon Prasselkuchen with Puff Pastry
I love Streusel, and much of my childhood was spent devising ways to snitch Streusel off of the Apfel Kuchen/Kirsch Kuchen/ Mohn Kuchen that my mother baked for Sunday Kaffee. I also love Blatterteig (Puff Pastry), flaky, buttery, crisp… so good. So a few days ago while reading Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss (yes, I read cookbooks… no one dies, and there’s a happy ending), I came across a recipe for Prasselkuchen, and HAD to make it immediately. Oh boy. What is Prasselkuchen? Simple… it’s a pastry made by baking Streusel ON TOP OF Puff Pastry. It’s like they read my mind!
Prasselkuchen is laughingly simple to make, especially if you use store-bought Puff Pastry Sheets (why wouldn’t you?). And best of all, it’s QUICK. Mix up a simple streusel… top the pastry… bake. While it’s still warm, drizzle a lemony glaze over the top. Swoon. That lemon cuts some of the sweetness, and balances the flavors. Eat it warm or eat it cooled off. (Just eat it over a plate, this one is messy).
Supposedly, you can store it for a week, but around here it doesn’t even last an hour.
What is Prasselkuchen?
As someone who seriously enjoys visiting bakeries in Germany, I have no idea how I could have missed Prasselkuchen. So…I did a little digging. The word Prassel means to rustle? (Is this because the puff pastry breaks apart with a rustling sound?)
The few sources I found say that it’s a specialty from Saxony . Only one of my German Cookbooks mentions it (oddly, it’s not in the DDR Cookbook, Culinaria Germany, Dr Oetker Backbuch, or the cookbook with German foods from the East). And online sources just show recipe. (Funny, everywhere I DO find it, it’s mentioned that the author Erich Kästner LOVED it). I reached out to my friend, Katja, who grew up in the East, and she said YES! It’s her father’s favorite treat!
If it’s good enough for Erich Käsnter and Katja’s father (and me), then it’s good enough to share.
Prasselkuchen with Puff Pastry Recipe
There are a few variations to the Prasselkuchen recipe. This is my favorite, made with a sheet of Puff Pastry from the grocery store (look in the frozen section). It could not be easier. You don’t even need appliances. Just cut together some streusel, roll out the thawed puff pastry, top, bake, glaze.
Don’t skimp on the lemon juice in the glaze! You need the tart to balance the buttery sweetness!
Flaky pastry, buttery streusel
You can change things up a bit by topping the puff pastry with a thin layer of a tart jam. (Simply spread the jam on to the puff pastry, then top with streusel) This also sounds quite delicious, but it is really not necessary.
(BTW, the Schwaben make a similar recipe using a shortcrust pasty base (more like a cookie). But I stand by the puff pastry.)
Step By Step…
Make the Streusel…. cut butter into a mixture of flour and sugar
Lay the thawed Puff Pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.
(Yes, this one is round… I used up the one in my freezer, and used up all the rectangular ones at the store practicing… all that was left was round.)
Brush it all over with water.
Squeeze the Streusel in your fist, and scatter it on the damp pastry.
Be sure to cover it up completely (and it’s great if the streusel are different sizes… so don’t try to be too perfect)
Then in to the 425 degree oven it goes!
Hot out of the Oven….smells so good!
Make a Zuckerguß… Sugar glaze with lemon… it should be more fluid than Elmer’s glue.
Drizzle all over
looks like this…
Slice and serve.
The recipe says it makes 12 pieces, but you can cut smaller (or bigger) pieces.
Because this one was round, it’s a little wonky, but extra good.