Szarlotka (Polish apple pie) is a staple found in every cafe and bakery. Imagine my surprise when I looked back and realized that, although we have eaten a lot a szarlotka in Poland, I’ve never prepared one.
Apple pie is one of Ed’s favorites, so I thought it would make a nice breakfast for his birthday. Even more surprising was the fact that none of my many Polish cookbooks had a szarlotka recipe, so I put out a plea on PH’s facebook page and asked folks to link me to their favorite recipe. I now have several to try! 🙂
I picked this one because it was 8 PM, I was getting a late start, and it seemed the simplest. Thanks to my friend Barbara for allowing me to share this recipe. I’ll be making the others in the future. What fun we’ll have taste testing!
Szarlotka vs. Apple Pie
Szarlotka is different than American apple pie in both the crust and the filling and tends to be less sweet. After looking at all of these szarlotka recipes, I now know that szarlotka differs from szarlotka! Some have raisins and almonds, some have meringue on top, some get a crumble topping.
If you want to try this with a meringue, be sure to saute or poach the apples until they’re tender before putting the apple slices in the crust lined pan and prebake the crust. The meringue, which would go on top of the apples and under the crumbled bit of reserved crust will cook faster than the apples. I tried this with out precooking the apples and the meringue was really overcooked, very crisp. (I’ve now made this several times.)
We like this dessert even better on the second day. The flavors just meld! So that’s my recommendation, make this the day before you intend to serve it. I’m a big fan of dishes that can be made in advance. As for the filling, it’s only apples. I’ve edited a bit by adding cinnamon, but that’s it, no sugar in the filling, just what goes into the crust. We enjoyed this szarlotka; I know we’ll make it again.
If you’d rather not deal with rolling out a pie crust, this is the dessert for you! You can just pat it into the pan. If you think this recipe looks like a winner, how about sharing the love and passing it along to your friends?
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A quick and easy version of Poland’s apple pie
- 2 cups flour (250 g)
- 1 cup sugar (200 g)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 9 tablespoons butter (125 g)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolk
- 2 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, & sliced (1 Kg)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder
- Cut in the butter (with a pastry blender, two knives, or rub into flour with fingers) until it resembles coarse meal
- Work in egg and egg yolk, the dough will be crumbly, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Reserve 1/3 of the crust, pat the remaining 2/3 into a 9 inch springform pan, covering the bottom and the sides
- Toss the sliced apples in the cinnamon, and add to the pan, piling them up
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 crust and sprinkle over the apples
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until crust is lightly brown and the apples are tender, if it seems to be getting brown before the apples are tender, loosely tent with aluminum foil
You could add some ground almonds on top of the crust before the apples or mix in 1/2 of raisins or dried cranberries with the apples.