October 31, 2014

Apple Sharlotka

With all the culinary influences that Romania has been blessed with, you would surely think that we would be well acquainted with the popular Russian Apple Sharlotka cake.  Well, not so much, or at least my family isn’t.  Granted, my grandmother has her own arsenal of apple pies and apple tortes to keep our greedy tummies satisfied.  So, until stumbling across this recipe for Apple Sharlotka in the November issue of Food & Wine, I had never heard of this kind of sweet delight.  But I can’t tell you how happy I am to have finally discovered it. 




The Apple Sharlotka is a traditional Russian apple cake-torte-pie-all-in-one kind of dessert.  In fact, I personally find it to be vaguely similar to the Vanilla Pudding Apple Torte that my grandmother spoils us with especially during the apple season; just as few if not fewer ingredients and no need for the glossy vanilla pudding draped all over the cake.  The top is delectably flaky, crusty and thoroughly dusted with powdered sugar, while beneath it the cake is light and fluffy, not too sweet and spiced with just the right amount of cinnamon, nutmeg and almond extract to create a heady, appetizing spectacle of flavors.  And at the bottom, you are greeted by a healthy layer of tart juicy and soft apples.  It’ll be hard devouring only one slice and most likely, you’ll end up making this treat again and again. 





Beside the fact that this cake is ridiculously easy to whip up, it’s very likely that you already have all the ingredients in your pantry and you don’t have to hastily scramble to the supermarket to fill up the basket.  On top of that, the sharlotka goes perfectly with tea or coffee, and makes for a quick and glorious breakfast or afternoon guilt-free snack.  I know that we’re in the midst of pumpkin frenzy and I should probably switch my attention to this autumn staple fairly soon, but right now I just prefer to indulge in the apple season and this apple sharlotka a tad longer.  Happy Halloween everyone!  





Apple Sharlotka
Adapted from Food & Wine (November 2014)

Makes: one 9-inch tart

Ingredients:

·         4 Granny Smith or any firm, tart apples; I used Honey Crisp apples – peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
·         1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, from half a lemon
·         1 cup sugar
·         ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
·         ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         Pinch of kosher salt
·         3 large eggs, at room temperature
·         ½ teaspoon pure almond extract (or pure vanilla extract)
·         Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting





Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Grease the bottom and side of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes. 





Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the almond extract and the remaining ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, about 8 to 10 minutes.  In two batches, gently fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  





Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer, then pour the batter evenly over them.  Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to sink in a little.





Bake the sharlotka for about 55 to 60 minutes, until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes.  Unmold and transfer to a serving platter.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.  





Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)

21 comments:

  1. This apple cake looks so hearty and delicious, I love the beautiful texture of it!
    A touch of vanilla ice cream and I would probably eat the whole cake :P

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thank you so much, Uru! I think some vanilla ice cream would work beautifully with this cake :)

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  2. This is one amazing looking apple torte :) Your grandma’s Vanilla Pudding Apple torte looks really good too! Laura

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    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment, Laura! I love both tortes and I think you'd like them too :)

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  3. Keep the apple recipes comin', I say. Especially if they include a dusting of powdered sugar that reminds me of snow :)

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    1. Thank you, Katy! I love apples in desserts and powdered sugar is always a nice finishing touch :)

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  4. What a great cake! I don't think I've ever had this, and certainly haven't made it. But I will. :-) Thanks.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hadn't made this cake before either but I truly love it and I think you will too :)

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  5. Hi Dana,

    I have not hear or seen this traditional Russian all-in-one cake before. It sounds very nice and unique to me :D

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Dana,

      I have a giveaway for 4 lucky winners at http://www.bakeforhappykids.com/2014/11/bobby-flays-french-crepes-served-with.html Please join in and I hope that you can be one of the winners :D

      Zoe

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    2. Thank you so much, Zoe! It is a uniquely delicious cake, indeed :)

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  6. We made your recipe this morning and this apple charlotte is absolutely delish! Joshua & Natalie

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    1. Thank you so much, Joshua and Natalie! So happy to hear that you loved the cake :) It means a lot to me!

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  7. It looks delicious. A great cake.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you, Rosa! Always so good to hear from you :)

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  8. I spied this recipe in F & W, too! Now you've made me want to bake it up even more :) Beautifully done!

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    1. Thank you so much, Liz! I couldn't overlook this recipe once I noticed it. I think you'll love it too :)

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  9. This is a beautiful looking cake and it looks so light and fluffy. I love how it has spices and it's great you've introduced me to something new - I've never heard of this cake! xx

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    1. Hi Charlie! Thanks so much for the lovely words! It's a wonderful and delicious cake :)

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  10. Just put in my oven!!! Love it!!! Thank you for inspiration!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Oksana! Hope you enjoyed this cake, it's certainly delicious :)

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