Finally, it is fresh fruit harvest time and the period to try out new culinary experiments. One may cook a great variety of mouthwatering desserts with the most popular autumn fruit – an apple. Today we have decided to tell you about favorite Russia apple dessert Sharlotka.
Despite the fact that an apple pie originated in England, Russians consider it their own national dish. In the beginning of the 20th century the recipe of sharlotka was altered into a simple sponge cake which has become widely known. Since then more than one generation has grown up feasting on this wonderful apple treat.
There are three main kinds of sharlotka pie. English sharlotka which can be described as a bread pudding has two variations. One is baked and the other one is cooked without baking by putting fruit syrup soaked bread pieces into a form and layering them with apple slices.
There is also a recipe known as Russian sharlotka or Charlotte Russe belonging to a famous cook Marie-Antoine Carême. The novelty of Carême’s recipe was the substitution of bread pieces with Savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits which covered the walls and the bottom of the cake tin which was then filled with Bavarian cream or Crème bavaroise with gelatin. The cake remained open. It was served cold and looked stunning.
Interestingly, a special cake tin was used for making this dish. It was small and narrow, had high sides and a removable bottom, which prevented the pie from breaking and made the beautiful presentation possible. Today we can find a large selection of detachable baking dishes which greatly simplify the baking process.
The main advantage of sharlotka pie is its versatility and adaptability to the demands of different epochs. Sharlotka can be cooked not only necessarily with apples, but also with pears, apricots, plums and cherries; it can be filled with gentle mousse or fruit jam.
But traditional Russian sharlotka uses only apples and has nothing in common with English, German or any other variety of the pie. The recipe is unique and includes the simplest ingredients which are usually found in every kitchen.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
0.5 tsp baking powder
1-2 dashes of vanilla essence
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are pale yellow and foamy and doubled the size. Add the flour to the batter and mix just until the flour is incorporated. Then mix in peeled and thinly sliced apples. Grease the baking tin with butter and fill with the batter. Bake in a preheated 180oC (356oF) oven for 30-40 until the pie is golden, or when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
We recommend serving it with warm milk.