Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Flying Szarlotka

No, not a trapeze artist, but the apple cake recipe I tried yesterday...

It does do amazing feats. (Maybe since my life is sometimes a circus?) It flew right off the platter during the break for dinner at the study today. Noone even tried to disguise their second and third pieces...they just hoarded and glutted. And this from otherwise civilized adults.

It's definately a keeper!

I ran across the recipe on Alla's blog Cooking with Yiddishe Mama, which is originally from Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler.

Here was the blog hook I couldn't resist:

"It's one of the best recipes. Always successful! You will stick with this recipe FOREVER!!!"

Yeah, well, it's darned good.

So good that if I don't take double the amount to next week's study, things might get ugly ;-)

Here's the recipe. If I can make it, you can, too!

Polish Apple Cake (Szarlotka)

3 large apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced into thin slices (I used Fujis)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. sugar
4 lg. eggs (I used organic pastured)
1 c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 c. orange juice (I squeezed up some fresh)
1 t. vanilla
3 c. all purpose flour
3 t. baking powder (fresh!)
1/2 t. salt

Grease 9x11 inch pan and dust with flour, shaking out excess.
Place apples in large bowl and mix with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
In separate bowl, beat eggs and gradually add remaining sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Combine with egg mixture and mix until blended.
Pour 2/3 of the batter into prepared pan.
Layer with the apples.
Pour the rest of the dough over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees 45-50 minues until golden on top.
Let stand a few minutes and then unmold onto rack.
Cool completely.

I heeded the advice of Susan , and went and bought FRESH baking powder, since learning that this makes a big difference in the end product. Also, I followed the recipe exactly, which is something I rarely am disciplined enough to do. I cut my apple slices paper thin when preparing the ingredients, and those came out very well.

The cake is delicious, and if you can wait long enough for it to cool to sample it, you'll find it comes out with a slightly crisp top and cakey soft moistness beneath, with just the right sort of sweetness. I sliced the cake into squares, arranged the slices on a platter, and covered the whole thing tightly with foil overnight. The next day, they were moister and there was no longer a crispness to the top.

This one's going into the permanent file, for sure.

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