I wasn’t going to bake in January………..

I have been recuperating from a month of cooking, baking, and entertaining.  After the last of the sheets were washed and the holiday decorations were taken down, I decided to sit down and reflect on the last month.  I think I was a busy girl. Here are just a few of the production numbers for Holiday 2011 at the Gravy Company:

  • 300 Fire Rockets to usher in the New Year
  • 117 house guest meals
  • 90 cinnamon rolls
  • 32 gallons of various adult and little people beverages
  • 30 pounds of meat, poultry, and fish
  • 22 house guest nights
  • 20 pounds of potatoes
  • 20 pounds of flour
  • 20 pounds of sugar
  • 15 pounds of fruits and veggies
  • 10 pounds of butter
  • 7 dozen eggs
  • 6 pounds of sweet potatoes
  • 5 gallons milk, half and half, cream, and eggnog
  • 3 pounds of coffee
  • 2 gallons of orange juice
  • 1 Big Batch of Party Mix
  • 0 spills outside of the kitchen!

That being said, we had a wonderful time with friends and family.  I am usually ready for January.  A time to regroup and relax, especially when Winter is just starting to take her grip on us. A time to catch up on reading and researching/testing recipes for cooking classes and the blog.

I lasted until the 10th of January. That is the day I was reading my favorite food blogger, Deb at Smitten Kitchen, and the Apple Sharlotka jumped out at me.  I was tired of the sweetness of the holidays: pies, cakes, cookies, candies, breads, and rolls.  And yet, there was still a craving for a little somethin’ somethin’.  This was it!

This Russian apple concoction was just what we needed.  Not too sweet, very fresh, and easy to make.  It’s not really a cake. It’s not really a clafoutis (I love to say clafoutis).  It’s not really a tart. There is no oil or butter, no milk or cream.  It’s a stand alone treat.  I would describe it as an after the holiday-not too sweet-I’m still not willing to give up dessert-cake. Sharlotka is much more fun to say.

A guiltless snack, yummy with a cup of morning coffee, and delightful with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream made in the new ice cream maker I received as a Christmas gift. (Thanks Dot!) My six year old granddaughter even liked it.  It passed the taste test.  Give it a try.

Apple Sharlotka

adapted from Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Alex’s mother, who adapted it from her mother, and so on…

butter or nonstick spray for greasing the pan

6 large, tart/crisp apples, such as Granny Smith, Jonathan, or even Fuji

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all purpose flour

Ground cinnamon, to finish

Powdered sugar, also to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter or spray the paper and the sides of the pan.  Peel, halve and core your apples, then cut each half  into 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut each of those slices in half.  It goes pretty fast.

Pile the cut apples in the prepared pan.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs.  Beat in the vanilla, salt and optional cinnamon, then stir in the flour with a spoon until just combined.  The batter will be thick.

Pour the batter over the apples in the pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all the exposed apples.  Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter.  The tester will be moist from the cooked apples but no batter should be on the tester.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper and flip it back onto a serving platter.  Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar. Some like it plain, some like it with a scoop of ice cream, and some like it with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream, and some like it with a bit of sour cream. (I’m kind of a whipped cream sort of gal)  Enjoy!

Apple Sharlotka goodness


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3 Responses to I wasn’t going to bake in January………..

  1. deb says:

    looks like a homerun as always!

  2. Dot says:

    I’ve had this dessert on my mind since I sampled it on Friday. I was on a mission to bake something this afternoon. After realizing I was out of brown sugar, it gave me more reason to make this one for the fam. I know what I’m havin’ for breakfast in the a.m.!

  3. Catherine V says:

    Oh, I love this. Will have to try it out. Like the idea of something that isn’t so sweet!

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