Sometimes I start with a specific idea, but the fates have different plans. This is one of those moments.
There is a bakery, The Deutsch Apple in Blanco, Texas, that creates some of the most amazing apple cakes, muffins, and a variety of tempting pies. To call this little bakery unassuming would be generous. From the outside, the bakery is weathered. Enter and you encounter a small room with a few tables, a counter, and the most amazing smells of fresh baked goods. Ever since I stumbled upon The Deutsch Apple, I’ve been intrigued with the bakery and addicted to their wares, so several months back Dawn Russell, the current owner sat down and shared some of the Deutsch Apple’s history and future with me.
Dawn, who lives along with her family in New Braunfels, left the corporate world of AT&T back in November 2018 after purchasing the Deutsch Apple from a family member. Located at 602 Chandler Street, The Deutsch Apple is currently open from Wednesday through Saturday and ordering ahead is encouraged. Dawn told me that in addition to local orders, the bakery ships apple cakes, and pies nationwide. And of course, holidays are especially busy. Dawn is even expanding the bakery to include a small gift shop that will offer local Texas Hill Country honey and Mud Pie dishware. At one point during our conversation, Dawn mentioned she uses the original recipe for her apple cakes and muffins. According to Dawn, in the beginning the apples for the cakes had been grown locally by Gene and LaVada Triesch, the original owners. And this is where fate took me off my original path as I became intrigued with the history of The Deutsch Apple and the original owners, Gene and LaVada.
I reached out and LaVada and Gene were kind enough to meet and share their memories with Steve and me. One of the first things LaVada showed me was a framed painting (shown) of the Deutsch Apple done by Suzy Harmon almost 20 years ago. I was struck by how this framed rendition of the Deutsch Apple, painted many years ago, was still so obviously important to LaVada. And so, we promised to mention Ms. Harmon in hopes she might read this article and know her painting was still very much appreciated.
The Triesch family opened the Deutsch Apple back in 1997 after purchasing an old auto paint and body shop. Gene and LaVada, along with some help from Steven Lamphier who happens to be the bass player for Zydeco Blanco, turned the buildings into the existing bakery and coffee shop, pot belly stove and all, that still stands today. Gene posted the 10 Commandments at the cash register and he credits this with never having a bad check intentionally written during the seven years of business. The bakery used apples grown from their orchard of 450 trees, some of which are still producing today. In addition to apple muffins and cakes, the bakery served pies and cobblers, but it was the muffins with the hangovers that were so popular
No, not a hangover from a bit too much Friday night partying but the part of the muffin that spills over the edge and takes on that perfect bit of crunch. That is the Deutsch Apple hangover and it remains as immensely popular today as it did back more than 20 years ago. LaVada got a chuckle out of telling me that muffins were supposed to have a round crown, but her muffins were not exactly attractive being slightly sunken in the middle and with a hangover. It was that sunken center that allowed for more glaze and the hangover that had so many customers returning time after time. Back in the beginning a muffin cost seventy-five cents and the first muffin was free LaVada conceded that while customers were honest at the cash register, some were less honest when it came to the First Muffin free policy.
The Deutsch Apple did a healthy business, frequently shipping hundreds of pies, cakes and yes muffins. At the same time, LaVada and Gene, who had met when LaVada auditioned for and became the lead singer in Gene’s band, The Middle of The Fiddle, were playing and recording with the likes of Bobby Flores. And so, in 2004, the Deutsch Apple and LaVada’s recipes were sold to Ron and Connie Endress. Over the years, the Deutsch Apple has changed hands, even at one point, changing from a bakery to a café that didn’t carry the original muffins and cakes. That is until now because today, Dawn carries on the original traditions of the Deutsch Apple.
So, if you haven’t stopped by the Deutsch Apple, well you need to as soon as possible. And if you are already familiar with the quaint little bakery on Chandler Street in Blanco, Texas, then you know you need to start planning your holiday order because those pies, cakes and muffins with the hangovers won’t last long! http://deutschapple.net/