Beerawecka is a lesser-known French dessert originating from the Alsace region, which borders Germany and Switzerland. The traditional cake combines dried fruit soaked in brandy, nuts, and a large amount of aromatic spices. Beerawecka is a prime example of the fusion of flavors from two countries, as it combines the French love for dried fruit and nuts with the German fondness for spiced pastries.
The name of the dessert comes from the Alsatian dialect, where “bira” means pear and “wecka” means cake. A wide range of dried fruits is used in the recipe, including figs, apricots, plums, raisins, candied cherries, and candied orange peel, in addition to pears. The fruit is soaked in brandy to enhance its flavor. The soaking should be lengthy. The fruit is then combined with various nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, and a mixture of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. In some recipes, the mixture is also seasoned with dried ginger or nutmeg.
Beerawecka tastes best after two to three days when the flavors blend perfectly. However, it is a long-lasting treat that can be enjoyed for an extended period. It is often prepared for Christmas, but it is so popular that you can find it all year round in Alsace with a bit of luck.
If you like dried fruit and nuts, be sure to try this dessert and don’t be afraid of its unique appearance. I discovered Beerawecka in a small pastry shop in the beautiful town of Colmar. One serving cost 6.50 EUR, and upon returning home, it was devoured almost instantly.