Name: Aniela White Staszewska
Class Year: 2005
Country of Residence: Bialystok, Poland
Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory?
In Poland, apples have been grown since the seventh century, and since then they have become a core component of its cuisine. Today, Poland is one of the largest exporters of apples in the world. There’s even a children’s rhyme written by Jan Brzechwa (1898 – 1966) entitled Entliczek-Pentliczek, which tells a story of a little worm living inside an apple who goes to the city to find something else to eat, but when the waiter hands him a menu, there are only apple-based foods like szarlotka, stewed apples, and baked apples!
Szarlotka is different than American apple pie in both the crust and the filling and tends to be less sweet. All Polish housewives have their own variation of this recipe and every restaurant has it on the menu. You can eat it cold, but I love it served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. While this recipe can be eaten year round, I love to make it in the fall because of how the smell of cinnamon fills the house and makes me feel all warm and cosy as the weather outside gets colder.
Szarlotka (Polish apple pie)
Serves 8 . Takes approx. 2 hours (50 min prep, 50 min bake).
- 2 cups flour (250 g)
- 1 cup sugar (200 g)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 9 tablespoons butter (125 g)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolk
- 2 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, & sliced (1 Kg)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder
- Cut in the butter (with a pastry blender, two knives, or rub into flour with fingers) until it resembles coarse meal
- Work in egg and egg yolk, the dough will be crumbly, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Reserve 1/3 of the crust, pat the remaining 2/3 into a 9 inch springform pan, covering the bottom and the sides
- Toss the sliced apples in the cinnamon, and add to the pan, piling them up
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 crust and sprinkle over the apples
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until crust is lightly brown and the apples are tender, if it seems to be getting brown before the apples are tender, loosely tent with aluminum foil