This recipe is so good that I’m posting it even though my pictures aren’t perfect. It’s like no other apple cake I’ve experienced. The emphasis is on the apples with just enough airy cake batter to envelope them and bring out their best features. The cake is light and soft with a crisp top, and the apples are soft and succulent. I LOVE the almond flavoring with the apples, it’s perfect.
Apple Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)
recipe from Food and Wine magazine by Matt Danko Click through for the original recipe and a video!
4 Granny Smith apples ( I used Yellow Delicious this time) – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and side of an 8-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 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. 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 1 hour, 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.
This is a lemon poppy seed cake with emphasis on the poppy seeds. It’s practically health food because poppy seeds are high in dietary fiber and minerals. With three eggs, plus the additional nutrition from all those seeds, this cake is solidly in the ‘okay for breakfast’ category!
I found this recipe in one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I love her handwritten recipes, doodles and drawings. The recipes are delicious and healthy without sacrificing richness and flavor.
Ukrainian Poppy Seed Cake
3/4 cup poppy seeds
1 cup milk
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar (white or light brown is ok)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Place poppy seeds and milk in a small saucepan and scald (heat to almost boiling, then remove from the heat). Set aside and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 10 inch tube pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together the dry ingredients on wax paper or in a separate bowl. Add this to the butter mixture alternately with the poppy seed – milk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.
- Stir just enough to blend well, adding the vanilla, lemon juice and zest at the end.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate.
This cake has so many poppy seeds that it’s almost nutty tasting. It’s a little different from your average lemon poppy seed muffin or cake, but still very familiar in flavor. I love that it’s not super sweet, I also love the crunch of the seeds and the little hint of lemon flavor. If you want more sweetness, you can add a simple glaze of lemon or orange juice mixed with powdered sugar.