Thanks to our friends at Facebook and Instagram, a lot of us instinctly eat with our eyes before we even get a taste with our mouth. When I saw a picture of Food And Wine’s Sharlokta (a traditional Russian apple cake), I knew it was something I’d have to try. First of all, I LOVE fruit desserts. Second of all, I had been dreaming of a very similar french dessert (Clafoutis) that Jon prepared from one of our Raw Spice Club packets earlier this year. Once this strangely constructed Sharlotka caught my eye on Pinterest, everything just felt right!
Although I had a few concerns the recipe would be out of scope for my afternoon, to my surprise, the only ingredients I needed to purchase were 4 apples, powdered sugar, and almond extract (in which case I’m still convinced there’s another vile of extract sitting in the back of my pantry). What’s more– the only prep required was a little chopping, and basic cake making tasks: mix wet stuff into a bowl, mix dry stuff into bowl, pour bowl contents into a baking dish.
In terms of a formal description for the Sharlotka, it’s basically a cross between a biscotti and an apple coffee cake… the top is kind of hard but the inside is soft. That may sound little bizarre, but it’s absolutely fabulous served warm. Now, when it comes to flavor the taste of almond extract may be a polarizing. For me, I find that almond paste or extract truly adds a wow factor. For jon, the presence of almond was more of a distraction.
So that’s it. I loved it, the coworkers who gobbled it up from the work break room loved it, and hopefully you will too! See below for an adapted version of Food and Wine’s Apple Sharlotka.
A P P L E S H A R L O T K A
4 Granny Smith apples
1 Tablespoon lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1 Cup white granulated sugar
3/4 Cup and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon cloves
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon almond extract
2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar (for dusting)
- Wash, peel and chop apples into thin slices.
- In a large bowl, mix apple slices, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover or place in a zip loc bag, setting the contents aside for atleast one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a different large bowl, whisk eggs, 3/4 cups sugar, and almond extract together thoroughly. When egg and sugar mixture is smooth, slowly pour flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt into the bowl and mix.
- Place apples into baking ware (I used a 9″ pie pan), and pouring the contents of the other bowl on top. Let this sit for 5 minutes before placing into the oven.
- Allow the sharlotka to cook for 1 hour and cool for atleast 15 minutes.
- Dust the dish with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Note: If you’re preparing this dish for family and friends make sure you warn them of the possible nut allergy :).