The Frank Family from Frankfurt

Apple pie recipe from Leni Frank's recipe book

In her family, Leni Frank, aunt of the world-famous Anne Frank, was never considered a particularly good cook or baker. But she and her family loved spending time together, and they were especially fond of having tea—at which a slice of cake was always an essential fixture.

As a young woman, Leni Frank attended a housekeeping course, where she became acquainted with recipes from the cookbook of the Baden Women’s Association in Karlsruhe. She gathered these recipes together as menus in a handwritten recipe book and had her household help cook and bake from them. The recipe book, which was started in 1910, was actively used until at least 1977, as the loosely collected notes reveal. They not only contain hearty classics such as roast beef and Maultaschen, a German form of ravioli, but also some desserts, including various recipes for apple pie. One of these seems to have been particularly popular in the family, because it carries the note "very good." Moreover, the ingredient amounts were subsequently adjusted to accommodate a standard baking tray size. The recipe is very simple. And since the people of Frankfurt have been outspoken apple fans since Goethe’s time at the very latest, the recipe carries a regional connection that goes beyond the Frank family.

Apple Pie (Weinstein) "Very Good" (p. 136)

Apple pie recipe from Leni Frank's recipe book
Apple pie recipe from Leni Frank's recipe book © Anne Frank Fonds Basel

380 grams of flour, 200 grams of butter, 1 pinch of salt, 3 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of wine,  3 tablespoons of milk, kneaded together quickly and thoroughly.

Divide one half, roll it out, arrange 1 kilo of peeled apples, sliced, with 60 grams of raisins and 100 grams of sugar, lay the other half over it, press the edges together, and bake on an elongated tray.

Note: Preheat the oven and bake at 175° C. for about 30 minutes. The cake can also be baked in a springform pan, and is then more like a tart.