The mingling of lavender with fruit. Just as a backup singer adjusts her pitch to the tune of the lead vocalist, so lavender harmonizes beautifully with the peach. Maida Heatter, “the queen of desserts” calls this layered pastry a kuchen, which is the German word for cake. It is reminiscent of pie, with a cakey crust, a fruit filling and a crumby topping. It resounded the perfect coffee cake to me. Pondering that complementing duo, I flavored three of the layers with lavender, the sweet yeast dough, the crumb topping, and the icing but the taste still just peaks through because of how well the peaches balance it.
There is a tradition in Germany called Kaffee and Kuchen. Friends and families gather mid afternoon, especially on Sundays, anywhere for coffee and cake and conversation. Conversation! In my home with three teenagers who sometimes barely utter a hello as they immerse themselves in their own lives (totally normal I know), this sounds so good. The idea of a homemade cake to share with my special confidantes, inspired me to add the herb of attraction, lavender, to this kuchen, enticing them to my home for a good cuppa, a treat, and talking.
Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Great American Desserts
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