Thanks to my friend Inna who reminded me about this apple cake. She is so good at it and honestly I miss having a cup of tea with a slice of just-baked-apple-goodness with her! So you would understand if I say that I had to make it today for breakfast.
This is a very Russian cake though the name may not sound so (people are still guessing about the origin of the French name for this cake). Sharlotka is as dear for Russians as Apple pie for Americans but the simplicity of Sharlotka allows a hostess to bake it an instant weather she is having some unexpected guests or say for breakfast. There are only 5 ingredients for this apple cake and they are sure to be found at any time in any Russian house.
This recipe is from my family and I've learned to bake it since I was little over 10 y.o. So think about it as a good recipe for baking with kids after you come back home from apple picking at the farm. It doesn't get any easier then:
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
4-5 sour apples (*see a Note)
a pinch of salt
Start by preheating your oven to 350 F (or 180 C). Then peel and slice your apples to your liking. Now beat the eggs on high for a few minutes. The longer you do it the better the cake will be. Without stopping your mixer slowly add sugar and mix some more. Now add flour and salt (cinnamon optional) but this time mix just until incorporated.
Now here I have to make another note. In Russia we use white flour but to make it more healthy I did mine today with Whole Wheat Pastry flour and it turned out perfect. I think I will not go back to white flour for this recipe anymore.
I use my Pirex glass pie dish. Oil the bottom to prevent sticking and then start building your Sharlotka by layering apples and batter. Cover the bottom with one layer of apples then pour some batter. Repeat about 3-4 times leaving some apples for the top.
I sprinkled mine with some decorative cinnamon sugar but I do not recall using any cinnamon for that recipe growing up. Now you may put it in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.
Note: If you have only sweet apples on hand you can still use them but sprinkle them with juice of half a lemon before adding them to the batter.