This easy and delicious Caramel Apple Sharlotka, is full of fruit, with a bit of caramel baked with the apples.
It's apple week at Seasons and Suppers. Ok. Not really. I'm not nearly that organized. It just so happens though, by happy coincidence, that this week is going to feature two apple recipes - one sweet and one savoury.
For the sweet, is this delicious Caramel Apple Sharlotka cake, based on a traditional Russian dessert. It has the most lovely crispy, crackly, meringue-like crust on top, with a delicious cake and warm apples underneath.
This cake is pretty simple, so it's easy enough to whip up anytime. It's not super sweet, so it would be at home in the morning, the afternoon, or for a warm treat after dinner. For my version, I used a firm red apple, which was probably Courtland or Empire. Truth is, I can't really remember, but those are the ones I usually buy, so I'm going with that :)
In the original instructions for this cake, it suggested allowing the cake to sit for 5 minutes before placing in the oven "to allow the batter to sink in to the apples". I'm here to tell you though, that will never happen. Nope. This batter is thick and it isn't going anywhere on it's own. That said, I didn't mind having the cake at the top and the apples at the bottom. If you'd like to mix it up more (or if you'd like a sturdier cake for slicing and serving), my suggestion would be to run a knife straight through the batter a few times, to encourage it to mix with the apples. As there is a lot of air beat in to the batter, be careful not to deflate it too much. Straight strokes in a few different directions should do it.
Finally, you can use a homemade or store-bought caramel sauce for this one. I happened to have a nice store-bought around, so that's what I used. For homemade, any one will do, but a thicker sauce is better for this one, if you're making one.
Caramel Apple Sharlotka
- 4 medium apples (peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup white sugar (DIVIDED)
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch kosher salt
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla ( or vanilla bean paste)
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade caramel sauce
- Icing/Confectioners sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350° F with rack in centre of oven. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside on a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. 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 with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix in. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until mixed.
- Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer. Drizzle the caramel over the apples, then pour the batter evenly over them. If you'd like to mix the apples with the cake a bit, run a knife straight through the pan in a few directions to allow the batter to sink down in to the apples a bit. Otherwise, just allow to stand 5 minutes as is. This will bake up with the cake on top and the apples on the bottom.
- Bake the sharlotka (on the baking sheet, to catch any dripfor about 1 hour, or until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let it rest for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, then remove the outer ring. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.