So we’ve had a main dish (Shashlyk) and a side dish (Russian roasted potatoes), now what is missing? Vodka? What is it with you and vodka? Just kidding – of course a dessert! Russia is rich in desserts and among them, thanks to a recommendation by my good friend Alexey Burchakov in Moscow, is Apple Sharlotka. Now it is not a cake, it is not a pie, it is not a pancake, it is not a clafoutis (and if you are wondering what a clafoutis is, it’s a French dish with black cherries, so something with apples can’t be a clafoutis, but could be a flaugnarde, but is it not that either, but let’s stop this…) – so what is it? Well – very, very good!
And the best thing is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients, everything should be pretty much readily available almost everywhere and it is very easy to make as well, so a score on all accounts! So I found a great recipe at Smitten Kitchen, and this is what we need:
6 green apples (works best with tart ones such as Granny Smith)
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
powdered sugar and ground cinnamon for sprinkling after it’s baked
Line an oven-safe dish with parchment paper
Whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth
Stir in vanilla and flour with a spoon until it is all combined and thick
Peel and dice the apples and put them at the bottom of the dish
Pour mix over the apples and cover them as much as you can
Bake at 350 F for about an hour or until a cake tester comes back without stuck batter
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and some ground cinnamon and serve
Alright, since we do not own a springform pan, we decided to just take a deep, oven-safe dish and instead of butter or spray we just put a sheet of parchment paper into the dish and we were ready to go.
First off we put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and Nico did not just dump and mix, no, he even cracked the eggs! After that we beat the mix with a whisk until it was all smooth, the recipe talks about ribbons forming on top, no idea what they meant with that, but the mix looked good. After that I mixed in the vanilla and then stirred in the flour with a spoon until everything is just combined and thick.
Valerie peeled and sliced/diced/stick-cut the apples, which Nico then transferred into the dish (of course he had to sample some, since he is our live-in quality control).
After that we poured the mix over the apples and Nico instinctively did exactly what a chef/baker would be doing to scoop out the batter, we were thoroughly impressed! The recipe calls for the batter covering the apples and pressing down on it, basically just try to cover as much as you can.
And off into the oven it was, pre-heated at 350 F, for about an hour or until the cake tester comes out without any batter left stuck on it.
After we took it out of the oven, we let it stand for 10 minutes and then lifted it off the parchment paper bit by bit with a big spatula to get it out of the dish, cut it open and enjoy! We had thought that we had the powdered sugar, but ended up not having any and we opted out of cinnamon for the first piece, so we could taste the whole thing as it comes out. Of course our quality control had to have the first bite Next time we might try to put cinnamon into the batter and Valerie is sure that it would taste AWESOME while still being lukewarm with some ice cream!
Alex is is taking most of the photos (which is why you don’t see much of him) and from time to time he will also post about some of the activities that he’s been a part of. He also acts as editor for posts, technical troubleshooter and messes around with the WordPress behind-the-scenes stuff. Other than spending time with Nico and Valerie, he enjoys Heavy Metal, writing reviews about it, football (the European kind, the one here in North America he calls “handegg”) and trying out new twists on food.