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Polish Apple Cake (Szarlotka)

Indulge in the delectable flavours of Poland with this easy-to-make recipe for Szarlotka, a traditional apple cake. The symphony of sweet apples and a touch of cinnamon is sure to tantalise your taste buds and make any occasion truly special.

preparation: 1 hour(s) 00 minutes

making: 40 minutes

total: 1 hour(s) 40 minutes

servings: 20 pieces

nutrition: 236 calories per serving

cuisine: Polish

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 450g self-raising flour how to?
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 180g white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp sour cream what is?
  • 2 eggs

For the filling

  • 1.5kg of apples
  • 100g white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

For the finish

Have extra flour on hand for dusting the baking tin and butter for greasing.

Method

All the ingredients are gathered and ready to be used in the preparation of the Polish Apple Cake

Begin by placing the flour in a spacious mixing bowl.

All the ingredients for the dough are placed in a large mixing bowl

Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour along with baking powder, sugar, sour cream, and eggs.

With your hands, knead the mixture until it transforms into a firm dough. Work swiftly to ensure the butter doesn’t melt excessively.

The dough ball is ready for resting

Envelop the dough in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax and the flavours to meld.

Make the apple filling.

Grate the peeled apples on a medium grater over a large mixing bowl

Carefully peel the apples, discard the seeds, and grate them using the medium-sized holes of a box grater.

Grated apples are placed in a pan and sprinkled with sugar

Transfer the grated apples to a deep frying pan. Add the cinnamon and sugar, and stir to combine.

Cook the grated apples and sugar in a pan until softened and the sugar has dissolved

Place the frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the apples, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes until they become very soft. The apples should release their juices and caramelise slightly during this process.

Cooked grated apples in a pan

Remove the apples from the heat and allow them to cool down completely.

For this recipe, I used crisp and flavourful red British apples. The amount of sugar added depends on the sweetness of your apples and your personal preference. Feel free to adjust the sugar according to your taste.

Prepare the baking tray by lightly greasing its surface with softened butter.

For this recipe, I used a baking tray measuring 24 centimetres by 35 centimetres.

Set the oven to preheat at 180 degrees Celsius.

The rested dough ball is divided into two equal portions

Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and divide it into two equal portions.

Using a rolling pin, roll out one portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface

Transfer each piece of dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently roll it out with a rolling pin until it matches the dimensions of the baking tray.

The dough was rolled out on a surface dusted with flour

To prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, lightly dust it with flour.

Portion of the dough is pressed into a greased baking tin, while the other remains on a floured surface

Carefully lay the rolled-out dough onto the prepared baking tray and use your fingertips to gently press it into an even layer, covering the entire surface.

Use a fork to gently pierce holes throughout the dough.

The cooked grated apples are evenly distributed over the dough in the baking tin

Evenly distribute the cooled apple filling over the entire surface of the dough.

The remaining portion of the dough is gently placed over the apples in the baking tin

Place the second piece of dough over the apple filling, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Gently prick the top layer of dough with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking.

The freshly baked Polish Apple Cake is delicately removed from the oven

Bake the cake for approximately 40-45 minutes on a rack positioned one level below the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown.

Before slicing, sprinkle the cake generously with icing sugar.

A generous slice of Polish Apple Cake

Carefully cut and serve generous portions of the cake.

Enjoy!

The apple cake can be enjoyed warm (immediately after baking or gently reheated in the microwave) or chilled. It can be savoured on its own or paired with ice cream or custard for an extra special treat.

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