CELINA — Karin Ekern was just looking for a good way to use apples.
She found it in Iowa.
Ekern was traveling through that state 35 years ago and was given a gift, a cookbook from a nursing home there. It contained all kinds of old-fashioned recipes, and she dove in.
“I’ve gotten a lot of really good recipes there,” she said.
One of those classic recipes is what she shares today: Apple Kuchen.
“And it’s only been a few years ago that I even tried it,” she said. “I made it for my family, and they went crazy over it.”
This particular recipe didn’t have a lot of measurements, so Ekern tinkered until she found good ratios and the best apples to use.
“I’ve monkeyed around with it many times and tried different apples and stuff,” she said, explaining a mix of sweet and tart apples is her favorite.
A friend of Ekern, Elizabeth Monfort, recently submitted the recipe to Taste of Home Magazine. Look for the recipe under Monfort’s name, as it was done as a surprise to Ekern.
“So apparently, their test kitchen liked it, too,” she said.
Ekern is a Seattle native, and her husband is from Wisconsin. They relocated to Celina about eight years ago after her husband accepted a pastorate there.
“My husband enjoys to eat, and so …” she has learned to cook, she said. “I like making it because it’s easier than making an apple pie. My husband loves apple pie, and this is my way of getting around rolling out a crust.”
Her interest in cooking and baking started after she married.
“I think traveling around the country and meeting different people and eating foods from different areas of the country, I think that really did spark my interest,” Ekern said.
She enjoys gardening, entertaining and teaching what she has learned.
“I think there’s a lot of satisfaction in learning how to cook, measuring and all of that, and getting the knack for feeling comfortable around ingredients … and seeing your finished product,” Ekern said. “I just really enjoy (it), and I’ve met many people I’ve encouraged to try different things. Just to see how happy they are when they realize, ‘Hey, I can make it, too.’”
Ekern appreciates people popping in with ingredients, especially apples.
“I think it’s secretly so I’ll make them Apple Kuchen,” she said, laughing.
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