Sunday, May 12, 2013

Apple Sharlotka

I saw this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog and new that I wanted to try it. It was quite a while ago and I've waited. Waited because my husband doesn't like cooked apples. That's right. No apple pie, no apple turnovers, nada, nichts, nothing. I've waited because there were birthday cakes to make and little league treats to bake. Waited because there's been house work to do, because I changed jobs, because time has a way of slipping by unnoticed while you're busy doing stuff. Finally, last week, I'd waited long enough. It was time to try this recipe or unbookmark it and let it go. So I tried it.

The rustic simplicity of the recipe and ingredients piqued my interest. Could such simple, dare I say "plain", ingredients deliver. Would the whole be greater than the sum of it's parts? Could you make a cake without butter? Could you make a pie without a crust? What would this be? Breakfast? Dessert? I had to find out. . .

Start with simple ingredients: tart apples (I used granny smith), eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and flour. You might want a bit of cinnamon and powdered sugar for garnish.

To prepare your pan, butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, line with parchment paper then butter the paper and sides of the pan.

Peel, core, slice then chop the apples. They should be about 1/4-inch thick slices, then chop those slices into chunks.

Pile all the apples into the prepared pan. For this recipe it's best to have everything measured and ready to go before you start slicing and chopping the apples. If they sit too long, they'll start to get brown. You can see, mine started to get brown on the edges really quickly.

Beat the eggs and sugar until light colored, thick and creamy. When you lift your whisk or beater out of the eggs, it should fall in thick ribbons.

Whisk or beat in the vanilla. . .

Then stir (not whisk) in the flour, just until combined.

Pour the batter over the apples and use a spatula to work it down around the apples. I gave the pan a few raps on the counter to settle the batter down to the bottom. The apples and batter should be about level and all the apples should have at least a thin covering of batter.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I took it out after 55 minutes but it was still a bit doughy in the center. If you're not sure, go a few extra minutes to make sure its done. There's plenty of moisture in the apples to prevent it from drying out or being overcooked. Well. . .within reason. 60 minutes should do it.

Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides and then remove from the pan. Let cool completely and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

This turned out really good. I'm so glad I tried it. The Smitten Kitchen post says that its a Russian dessert and like a lot of pastry from foreign lands, its not too sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the apples that are tender but not mushy. The batter is almost like a dense steamed pudding and is soft and creamy. Give it a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve for breakfast, thats how my coworkers and I enjoyed it. I also think it would be delish, slightly warmed and served with vanilla ice cream. If you like simple desserts and you like apples, you need to try this recipe. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the post at Smitten Kitchen: Apple Sharlotka.

No comments:

Post a Comment