Szarlotka – Polish Apple Pie

Szarlotka – Polish Apple Pie

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This Szarlotka – Polish Apple Pie is a dessert very similar to a cobbler. Saucy cinnamon apple filling nestled between two layers of a crumbly buttery crust. So delicious. You may substitute the apples with blueberries or mixed berries, which is also very good in the spring or summer.

Serving Polish Apple Pie on a Serving Plate

The first time I tried this dessert was at Leg’s Inn, in Cross Village, Michigan along North Lake Shore Drive. They served it with a mixed berry filling, but when I researched recipes for Szarlotka, I mostly found apple recipes. However, I’ve made both versions, and they are both very good. If you ever have a chance to visit Northern Michigan, I highly recommend a stop at Leg’s Inn, not only for their food, but also for the wonderful ambience there. They also have a Polish Pottery shop, which makes it even more exciting for me!

 

Is Szarlotka Pie or Cake?

Good question. From what I found online, it goes either way, depending on what your Grandmother or Great-grandmother “Babcia” called it when she made it for you as a child. I’m not Polish, however, so I’m going with pie…or cake?

Apple Sharlotka - Russian Apple Cake

When researching this Polish dessert, I discovered a similar recipe for Apple Sharlotka, which is a Russian version of this apple dessert that is spelled nearly the same. It is a lighter cake made with less flour and more eggs. If interested, see this delicious recipe that I discovered in Food and Wine Magazine, which is pictured above.

Szarlotka - Polish Berry Pie

The Polish Apple Pie has a crumb crust that is either rolled out for the bottom and the top or is pressed into the bottom and then crumbled over the top. I’ve made it both ways.

The crumbled version is a bit easier if your dough hasn’t been refrigerated for several hours. But I think both are quite pretty in presentation. Notice the crumb version above has sparkling decorating sugar sprinkled on top prior to baking rather than powdered sugar.

 

Ingredients for Szarlotka – Polish Apple Pie

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • butter
  • large eggs
  • sour cream

Apple Filling

  • Granny Smith apples
  • lemon juice
  • brown sugar
  • all-purpose flour
  • ground cinnamon
  • powdered sugar for decorating

 

Instructions for this Recipe

Gather your dough ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Dough

Place Dry Dough Ingredients in Bowl of Food Processor

In a food processor, add all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. Mix to combine. Drop slices of cold butter into the work bowl, pulsing just until crumbs form.

Finished Dough once Eggs and Sour Cream Have Been Added

Add eggs and sour cream and pulse again just until mixed. Try not to overmix, though. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to firm up the dough.

 

Make the Filling

Once the dough has chilled for the recommended time, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray. 

Peel, core, and thinly slice the Granny Smith apples. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3 minutes to help soften the apples.

Par cooking the apples in the microwave helps to soften the apples during the baking process. It also gives you a head start on a juicier filling. 

Mix Filling Ingredients into Par Cooked Apples

Remove apples from microwave, and mix in the lemon juice, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon. Mix together until combined. 

If you should decide to make a berry dessert instead of apple, simply make the following substitutions for the filling: 18 oz fresh blueberries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix together in a bowl and follow the remaining instructions for this dessert.

 

Assemble the Dessert

Placed Half of Rolled Dough into Bottom of Springform Pan

Roll half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface, big enough to fit the springform pan. Carefully, place in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Alternately, you may press half of the chilled dough into the prepared springform pan to cover the bottom of the pan.

Spoon Apple Filling onto the Bottom Crust

Spoon the apple filling on top of the dough.

Then either 1) roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle big enough to cover the top of the pan, or 2) crumble the dough over the apples, lightly pressing it down with your fingers. If you use the crumb version, you may want to sprinkle sparkling decorating sugar over the top. 

Baked Szarlotka with a Golden Brown Top Crust

Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the top crust is lightly browned and the dough is cooked in the center. 

Allow to cool. Slide a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen any baked-on filling before removing from the springform pan. If you’re daring, you may try to transfer the dessert to a cake plate.

I feared the consequences of transferring the dessert to a serving plate and simply set the bottom of the pan onto a plate. Not very pretty, I know. But better safe, than sorry! 

Generously Dust Top with Powdered Sugar

Generously dust with powdered sugar to cover the top.

Serve Apple Dessert with Whipped Topping or Ice Cream

Serve with whipped topping or ice-cream. This recipe will serve 8-10 people. 

To store, tightly wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If desired, you may heat individual slices in the microwave before serving leftovers.

See more Pies and Cobblers Here. Browse Desserts Here.  View more German/Polish Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Szarlotka - Polish Apple Pie

Szarlotka - Polish Apple Pie

This Szarlotka – Polish Apple Pie is a dessert very similar to a cobbler. Saucy cinnamon apples nestled between two layers of a crumbly buttery crust. So delicious. 
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Polish
Keyword: Cinnamon, Granny Smith Apples, Shortbread Crust
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 58 minutes
Servings: 10

Equipment

Cuisinart Food Processor
Glass Mixing Bowls
Rubber Spatula
Springform Pan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Apple Filling

  • 6 medium Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for decorating

Instructions

  • Gather your dough ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Dough

  • In a food processor, add all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder. Mix to combine. Drop slices of cold butter into the work bowl, pulsing just until crumbs form.
  • Add eggs and sour cream and pulse again just until mixed. Try not to overmix. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Make the Apple Filling

  • Once the dough has chilled for the recommended time, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.
  • Peel, core, and thinly slice the Granny Smith apples. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3 minutes to help soften the apples during the baking process.
  • Remove apples from microwave, and mix in the lemon juice, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon. Mix together until combined.

Assemble the Dessert

  • Roll half of the dough onto a lightly floured surface, big enough to fit the springform pan. Carefully, place in the bottom of the prepared pan.
    - Alternately, you may press half of the chilled dough into the prepared springform pan to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Spoon the apple filling on top of the dough.
  • Then either 1) roll the remaining dough into a circle big enough to cover the top of the pan, or 2) crumble the dough over the apples, lightly pressing it down with your fingers.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the top crust is lightly browned and the dough is cooked in the center.
  • Allow to cool before removing the sides of the springform pan. If you're daring, you may try to transfer the dessert to a cake plate.
  • Generously dust the top with powdered sugar to cover. Serve with whipped topping or ice-cream.
  • This recipe will serve 8-10 people.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.
**If you decide to make a berry dessert instead of apple, simply make the following substitutions for the filling: 18 oz fresh blueberries or mixed berries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix together in a bowl and follow the remaining instructions for this dessert.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 464IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg
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