Kuchen literally translates to “cake” in German, but traditionally kuchen is more of a cake/pie mash up in the best way with a fruit or custard filling that is a religionl in North and South Dakota. Now every grandma in South Dakota has their own secret recipe but typically you find two styles of kuchen, a soft dough kuchen that uses yeast and rises, and a quicker short dough kuchen which is the recipe I’m using. Strawberry rhubarb pie might be most people's go to for rhubarb season but I think much like North and South Dakota, kuchen is underrated. If you're not using the soft dough style, kuchen is easier than pie but you still get all the deliciousness with less effort.
This recipe lets rhubarb be the star, but I have subbed in a cup of strawberries or an even better combo blueberry rhubarb. You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 ⅓ c all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ c cold butter
2 T cream or sour cream
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light cream or half & half
2-3 cups rhubarb chopped in 1/2" pieces
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c cold butter
For the Crust
Preheat oven to 350
For the crust: mix together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, fork, or by hand until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. About the size of peas
Turn mixture into a greased 9x9 or 9in cake pan. Pat evenly making a crust. Crust should go up the sides about an inch.
Spread rhubarb along the bottom of the crust in an even layer
For the custard: in a mixing bowl, beat 3 eggs. Stir in sugar, salt, and cream or half and half. Pour the custard mixture over rhubarb.
For topping, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until the center is set and the top is golden brown. Let cool at least 2 hours before serving