The frou-frou name is courtesy of Anya von Bremzen. My mom has been making this very easy, not quite a cake, not quite a pie apple dessert for ages, but I had thought the recipe was a family exclusive. So I was really surprised to find an almost identical recipe included in von Bremzen's Please to the Table and described as a classic, last-minute Russian (or, more likely, Soviet) dessert.
This is the sort of dessert you make when you want something sweet to finish up a meal but have no time to bake or shop. I memorized the recipe a long time ago--3 eggs, a cup of sugar, a cup of flour, 4 apples, slice, mix, pour, bake--and even my dad has successfully made this. Because it's so easy we used to make this all the time, but then I got bored with it. Don't make this apple charlotte too often, and you'll be surprised by just how good it is when you do have it. This is my tweaked recipe:
-Oil a 9-inch pan and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
-Core, peel, quarter 3-4 large, tart apples and slice them into 1/4 inch pieces. I use Granny Smith. Arrange the apple slices in a circular pattern in the pan.
-Sprinkle the apples with a little cinnamon, nutmeg or ground cloves.
-Preheat the oven to 350.
-Beat 3 eggs in a bowl, add 3/4 cup of sugar, beat until the mixture is smooth and pale yellow. Beat in 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
-Beat in 1 cup of flour. Add a splash of milk (3-4 tablespoons), continue beating till smooth.
-Pour the batter evenly over the apples.
-Bake until the top is puffy and golden, about 50 minutes.
This is excellent when eaten warm, but do let cool it for 30 minutes or so. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar before serving.