Russian Apple Cake (Sharlotka)

£16.00

A sweet sponge filled to the brim with apples, accentuated with homemade vanilla essence and dusted either with sugar or cinnamon or even dotted with marshmallows. Yum!

This  apple cake, or Sharlotka, is a staple food in every Russian kitchen, including mine. In each family the recipe varies a little and the cake could look somewhat different. This is one of those recipes that children learn from their mothers and more often from their grandmothers, who  in turn learned it from their mothers and grandmothers. As fate would have it, I did not learn my recipe from my grandmother even though I grew up eating Sharlotka all the time, especially during the autumn and early winter months when apples were harvested at the dacha, our holiday home in the Russian countryside.
And yet I do not cherish my recipe any less. I received it from a very good university friend of mine. I always saw in her the essence of a homemaker and in her family what a Russian home should be like – filled with immeasurable kindness, generosity, patience, love for each other and for people around. I remember her Moscow apartment was always cosy and warm, smelling of freshly baked goodies and Russian “Olivier” salad, sometimes her husband’s favourite old jazz music would be playing in the background. Picture it: a home brimming with hundreds and hundreds of books, old photographs, beautifully ornate tablecloths, lace covers, knickknacks and an old piano. Her Easter spread – with traditional Kulich cakes big and small, colourfully painted eggs and thin Orthodox Church candles – continues to amaze me to this day. Whenever I am visiting her home I feel like I am in a different universe where time just stands still. Before I left Russia to live in England I asked her to teach me how to make the apple cake she was always making for my every visit. It happened to be Sharlotka. Now, every time I make it for my family I put on some slow vocal jazz and remember those warm days in her home. Then, my nostalgic longing turns to love and joy.

This cake is perfect in the summer-time as it is light and full of fruit, but if you add some spice like cinnamon or even marshmallows it instantly becomes a perfect winter comfort treat that goes so well with hot tea or a cup of cocoa.

Description

A sweet sponge filled to the brim with apples, accentuated with homemade vanilla essence and dusted either with sugar or cinnamon or even dotted with marshmallows. Yum!

This  apple cake, or Sharlotka, is a staple food in every Russian kitchen, including mine. In each family the recipe varies a little and the cake could look somewhat different. This is one of those recipes that children learn from their mothers and more often from their grandmothers, who  in turn learned it from their mothers and grandmothers. As fate would have it, I did not learn my recipe from my grandmother even though I grew up eating Sharlotka all the time, especially during the autumn and early winter months when apples were harvested at the dacha, our holiday home in the Russian countryside.
And yet I do not cherish my recipe any less. I received it from a very good university friend of mine. I always saw in her the essence of a homemaker and in her family what a Russian home should be like – filled with immeasurable kindness, generosity, patience, love for each other and for people around. I remember her Moscow apartment was always cosy and warm, smelling of freshly baked goodies and Russian “Olivier” salad, sometimes her husband’s favourite old jazz music would be playing in the background. Picture it: a home brimming with hundreds and hundreds of books, old photographs, beautifully ornate tablecloths, lace covers, knickknacks and an old piano. Her Easter spread – with traditional Kulich cakes big and small, colourfully painted eggs and thin Orthodox Church candles – continues to amaze me to this day. Whenever I am visiting her home I feel like I am in a different universe where time just stands still. Before I left Russia to live in England I asked her to teach me how to make the apple cake she was always making for my every visit. It happened to be Sharlotka. Now, every time I make it for my family I put on some slow vocal jazz and remember those warm days in her home. Then, my nostalgic longing turns to love and joy.

This cake is perfect in the summer-time as it is light and full of fruit, but if you add some spice like cinnamon or even marshmallows it instantly becomes a perfect winter comfort treat that goes so well with hot tea or a cup of cocoa.

 

Diameter 24 cm.

Please note that this pie contains wheat, eggs and dairy!

Created in a kitchen that uses nuts, seeds and cereals that contain gluten.

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