Polish Szarlotka with Meringue

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Apple cakes are among the most popular cakes in the world. Probably every country has its own version of that delicious dessert. I already published a recipe for a German apple cake (Apfelkuchen) and – just a few days ago – the recipe for a French apple tart (Tarte aux Pommes). Today I would like to invite you to try a Polish Szarlotka. After all, Poland is the kingdom of apples.  🙂

IMG_0867There are many versions of Szarlotka. This one comes with a meringue topping; crisp on the outside and delicate and creamy on the inside.

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Polish Szarlotka with Meringue

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Crust
  • 170g / 6.0oz of cake flour (alternatively you may use plain all-purpose wheat flour
  • 40g / 1.4oz of sugar
  • 75g / 2,6oz of cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 medium-size egg yolks
Filling
  • 1kg / 2.2lb of apples
  • 5 tablespoons of muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
Meringue
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g / 5.3oz of fine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour

Preparation

  1. Prepare the dough: Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, add baking powder, sugar, egg yolks and butter. Work the dough first by rubbing the ingredients through your fingers, then start kneading the dough with the palm of your hand until it is smooth and silky. Form a bowl, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before further processing.
  2. Prepare the apple filling: Peel and quarter the apples. Remove the core and cut each quarter into very small cubes. In a large pan melt butter, add the diced apples, sugar and vanilla sugar, grated lemon zest and lemon juice and the spices. Cook on medium heat until the apples are soft but still chunky. Turn off the heat and set the apples aside to cool down.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking parchment. Take off and discard the upper parchment sheet and place the dough with the bottom parchment sheet in a tart mold (24cm / 9in in diameter). Press the dough against the wavy edge of the mold until it fits tightly. Pierce it with a fork in several places (about 8 – 10 times). Fill up with the prepared apple filling and bake for 25 minutes.IMG_0847IMG_0852
  4. In the meantime prepare the meringue: Using a hand mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt on the maximum speed until stiff. Add sugar, spoon by spoon, while still mixing. Finally, add potato flour and keep mixing at a medium speed for another 2 minutes.
  5. After 25 minutes take the cake out of the oven. Don’t turn off the heat! Spread the meringue all over the pie and place again in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes: first, bake for 8 minutes at 180°C / 355°F then reduce the heat to 100°C / 212°F and continue baking for the remaining 12 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool down and enjoy!IMG_0853

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