Onion Cake and Young Wine
In the wine-producing regions in Germany, it is customary to celebrate a festival once the harvest season is over and the first wines are ready for drinking. These festivals are called “Besen-und-Straussenwirstchaften”.
The custom originates from the time of the Emperor Karl the Great, who in the 8th Century allowed the vineyards to keep some of the wine they produced for themselves. Along with the new wines, onion cake is traditionally served.
The recipes for onion cake vary from place to place. Which one is the “original” and who “invented” it is not known, however at Braaizeit the onion cake was made on the braai this weekend and what a success it was.
- 150 g low-fat quark
- 6 tbsp oil
- 1 egg
- 300 g flour
- 1 sachet baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- Separating spray
- 1 kg onions, cut into strips
- 150 bacon, diced
- 200 g sour cream
- 3 eggs
- a little salt, pepper, nutmeg, ground cumin, marjoram and dried chili
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the filling, preheat the grill for direct heat (185°C) with a Dutch Oven or a griddle or alternatively a pot (4L) on the cooker. Pour in the rapeseed oil and fry the bacon cubes. Add the onion slices and sauté until golden. Transfer the onion and bacon mixture to a colander and drain.
In the meantime, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt for the dough. Mix the low-fat quark, oil and egg and knead the two mixtures together well.
Spray the pan or Dutch oven with release spray. Roll out the dough and place in the pan, trim off any overhanging edges.
In a large bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs and mix with the onion and bacon mixture.
Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, cumin marjoram and dried chili.
Pour the mixture into the dish.
Switch the grill to indirect (on a charcoal grill, simply pull the charcoal baskets apart) and place the onion tart indirectly in the grill.
Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake is cooked. The dough should no longer be runny in the middle.
In September and October, across continental Europe, the new wines or young wines are released. From region to region this alcoholic beverage has different names: Sauser, Neuer Süßer (new sweet), or Junger Wein (young wine)in Southwest Germany, Switzerland and south Tyrol; Sturm (storm, from the cloudy appearance) in Austria, Federweißer in Bavaria, Neuer Wein (new wine) in the Palatinate, Federweiser in Franconia.
Federweisser, which literally means ‘feather white’, is basically alcoholic grape juice, or very young wine. Having crushed the grapes, the winemaker then adds yeast to the grape juice. The sugar in the grape juice quickly starts to ferment in the presence of the yeast, creating a bubbly, alcoholic liquid. As soon as the Federweisser has an alcoholic content of four percent, winemakers can sell it – and sell it they do. From supermarkets to festivals, this refreshing drink is widely available and is very popular.
Because of rapid fermentation, Federweißer can not be stored for long and should be consumed within a few days of purchase. Due to the carbonation, Federweißer tastes quite refreshing, not unlike a light grape soda or a sweet sparkling wine.
Thomas suggested that we pair Zwiebelkuchen with a hearty warm dessert such as Malva Pudding. Malva pudding is a sweet pudding of South African origin. It contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture.
A cream sauce is often poured over it while it is hot, and it is usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. Thomas advised that we pair our Malva pudding for this week’s menu with some grilled pineapple.