So Easy A Blogger Could Do It

So you come home with 20 pounds of apples in a bag. No need to panic, I am here to tell you what to do. In about an hour or two you could be eating the best apple cake you have ever tried in your life. In fact, it so good that you will try to eat it all while declining tempting offers to exchange some of the cake for money and/or sexual favors. The cake is called “Sharlotka” and yes, there will be people who will tell you that this is not the right way to make it. Tell them to go f make their own Sharlotka, because this is the one and only way to make it and they don’t know what they are talking about. I would also like to warn “the creative types” not to post here with comments like “I added a pinch of salt to the recipe, some chicken, vegetables and a pie crust and now it’s a chicken pot pie”. I will ban you from this blog without regret.

For this recipe you will need a baking dish with flat bottom, some apples, 6 eggs, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of flour. That’s it.

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Peel, core and slice the apples. If you are a lady, cut the apples into uniform cubes of about 1/4 inches. If you are a gentleman, reach for your favorite (apple-peeling) tool-device.

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This machine cores, peels and slices the apples in one smooth motion. There is no excuse for not having it. Women and small children love it. Hack processed apples into smaller pieces. Peeled apples may brown after sitting on the counter. If you care, you can sprinkle them with lemon juice; I personally don’t care – it’s a cake,not a painting.

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Place the apples into your baking dish. Here I clearly went overboard, peeling them was so much fun (unless you are a lady) that I went through a few too many. Don’t worry, you can never over-apple the apple cake.

Now proceed to separate the yolks from the whites. Whipping egg whites is easier if they are cold and no particles of yolks were accidentally mixed in. However, I did just that (not on purpose) and everything turned out OK. If you are an older person like me you would remember that back in the day we whipped egg whites with a whisk.  It was tedious, boring and exhausting process. Fancy households had mechanical egg beaters, still a hassle and lots of cranking. Then came electric mixers and only here my dream to own a stand mixer finally came true. If you have one, place egg whites in the bowl and slowly raise the speed to “high”. If you don’t have the right equipment you can use any of the lesser tools.

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You will need to attain stiff peaks (not my stripper name) but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Slowly add sugar and continue whipping. The foam will become shiny and you will not be able to feel sugar crunch on your teeth. This may take 5 minutes or so. P1020193

Add egg yolks and whip some more.

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Add flour and get it to blend in, no one likes unbaked chunks of flour in the cake, you won’t get any points for a crappy product. Pour the mixture on top of the apples and spread it evenly.

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In a 350F preheated oven it goes for an hour. Leave it alone.

In the meantime you still have your apple peeler out and plenty more apples to use. Add a small amount of apple juice, Sprite, water of other tasty liquid to a sauce pan and place it on the medium-low heat. Peel and slice as many apples as will fit.

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Pour some honey on top. Do not go crazy with it unless you like it too sweet.

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Cover and cook on medium low until apples look and feel soft.

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Use potato masher to make some apple sauce of the desired consistency.

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Let it cool, it really burns when hot.
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Now get the cake out of the oven. Test it by sticking a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out clean, you are done.

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After the cake cools, get your favorite bottle of Homewood Hooch from the fridge and enjoy the cake.

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And this (to quote John McCain), “my friends”, is how you bake “Sharlotka”.

Update: My blogger friend Johnna made her own gluten-free version.

  • Cara

    This looks so good I think it qualifies as pornography.

  • I hope you are not reading this in Vegas.

  • Sharlotka is awesome… I’m going to try to get the zhena to make one for me this weekend… of course last time she burned the crap out of it, and it’s not nearly as delicious with a charred outside…

  • tracy

    gimme!

  • Svetlana Lyakhovetsky

    Great recipe! I am a bit surprised you mentioned nothing at all about what kind of apples. They do not all do what Antonovka does. Try Gold Rush if you can find a local farmer who grows them. I am in Indianapolis and they just showed up at the local farmer’s market – so mid-October or so ( it is a late apple). Trust me – it is absolutely perfect for Sharlotka. No other apple comes near, in my opinion. It is tart and crisp and does exactly what the original Russian apple traditionally used in Charlotka ( Antonovka) does – and that is form an adorable and delicious crispy top. Kind of like meringue. I suppose an apple has to be sour enough to accomplish that. And the crispness is important too – Gold Rush does not fall apart while cooking and that is great too. You actually get the wonderful contrast of a soft sponge and tart firm apple in each bite.Aahh… Try it!

  • Svetlana Lyakhovetsky

    Oy! At the risk of getting banned from your site for Sharlotka blasthemy… I do cover my dish with ever so thin layer of butter (room temperature, just use your fingers) and then some tasteless bread crums ( actually Japanese Panko works the best and does not mess with the taste at all) – just whatever will stick to the butter and then shake out any extra. This works wonders to allow you to actually take your delicious Sharlotka out of the form (just cover with a plate that matches the size/shape of your baking dish and then flip) and onto the cooling rack and then a plate.Please disregard my second comment if you are male, of course, – ’cause who the heck cares….

  • Points taken, but I usually don’t plan on making one so I use whatever apples are in the house. I do know about bread crumbs on the bottom, but I am lazy what can I say. Thanks for your comments 🙂