Sunday, May 14, 2006

Guest-at-the-Doorstep Apple Charlotte

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.


Anonymous said...

This looks terrific; I'm always looking for good, simple desserts to make for my family. Do you serve it right from the pan, or remove it?

The photo looks good, too, big improvement!

Mrs. M. said...


I like to serve it right from the pan. You can remove it, of course, but it tends to stick.

Big improvement? Thanks, but it's more like a happy accident! The photo looks ok because I took it by natural light. I took another one of a slice of pie on a plate and it came out fuzzy and blurry.

You win some, you lose some.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever make it in a springform pan? I'm just thinking it's so pretty, it would be nice to put it on a cake plate. I wonder how it would taste made with rhubarb instead of apples.

Anonymous said...

Looks quite gorgeous and not so difficult to make either. Lovely!

Mrs. M. said...


I'm sure you could make it in a springform pan. This dessert is pretty flexible.

I bet it would be great with rhubarb. I was actually considering throwing some strawberries in there.

Anonymous said...

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Betty Carlson said...

This recipe looks great and definitely a "Cuisine Quotidienne" concept (even if it's not really French.) I'll put it on my list of recipes to try. Thanks for your visit to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yulinka,
This is "beyond salmon"Helen's mom.I was so imprest reading about dessert that I was baking for ages. On your photo it looks perfect. And you are right, it is a traditional "soviet era" dish that we cooked using special pancake flour avalable back then ( do not recomend to use any of pancake flour in american stores.It does not work).But I could give you one tip of how to flip it over. I use unsalted butter for greasing the pan and a circle of parchment paper stiking it firmly to the bottom of the greased pan (if it makes pleates just press them to the sides of the pan). Then I put the apples in. After baking it flips easy and while it still hot, try carefully peel the paper off.It usually works for me. Good luck in your cooking.

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious. I have a Ukrainian friend whose mother makes something similar to this; she said it was one of the things they would eat a lot during the communist days. I'll have to give the recipe a try!

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Rozmin said...

When I make this in France it's taken between 25 to 35 minutes in the oven ... I just made it for the first time in my Mom's American oven (whose temperature is more reliable, I'm sure) and it took about 35-40. I think it depends on the amount of apple. In France I've done 3-4 because they're small, here I used one massive one. :-) My family tried it for the first time, and loved it!

Anonymous said...

If you use a silicone pan, this cake will not stick and will be super easy to flip out of the pan.

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Unknown said...

I must try this tomorrow with our about-to-be-disgusting apples.

Looks simple and delicious!

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