Szarlotka Provençal

The flavors are bold in this iconic Polish apple cake; cinnamon and vanilla flavored apple topping, on a very thinly rolled out shortcrust pastry, with a hint of thyme and a delicate orange note.

Szarlotka Provençal

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Simple


Prep time (incl. resting/refrigerating)




Baking time



The iconic Polish apple cake with a French twist. Absolutely delicious!


  • Shortcrust pastry
  • 150 g / 5.3 oz plain, all-purpose flour

  • 100 g / 3.5 oz potato or rice flour

  • 50 g / 1.8 oz sugar

  • 150 g / 5.3 oz cold butter, cut into cubes

  • 1 egg

  • Crumble
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz plain, all-purpose flour

  • 50 g / 1.8 oz potato or rice flour

  • 100 g / 3.5 oz unsweetened coconut flakes (alternatively ground almonds)

  • 50 g / 1.8 oz sugar

  • 125 g / 4.4 oz cold butter, cut into cubes

  • Apple filling
  • 1 – 1.5 kg / 2.2 – 3.3 lbs apples

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • a pinch of dried tarragon

  • a pinch of dried thyme

  • Additionally
  • 150 g / 5.3 oz orange jam

  • fresh thyme for garnish

  • confectioners’ sugar

  • vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)


  • Prepare the pastry crust: Sieve both flours into a mixing bowl, add sugar and butter cubes. Work it by rubbing the ingredients through your fingers until it’s crumbly.
  • Add the egg and quickly knead until all ingredients come together and form a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator, place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out into a thin crust, that fits a 13×9-inch shallow baking pan. Transfer the crust with the parchment paper onto the baking pan then peel off and discard the top parchment sheet. Thoroughly prick the crust with a fork and place it in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the crumble: Sieve both flours into a mixing bowl, add coconut flakes (or ground almonds), sugar, and butter cubes. Rub the ingredients with your fingers until a crumble is formed then refrigerate.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the apple filling: peel and core the apples, then cut into small cubes. In a pot with a wide bottom, melt the butter, add apple cubes and briefly stir to combine the ingredients. Cook over medium heat, adding sugar, vanilla sugar, and cinnamon. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft and start falling apart and forming a mousse. Toward the end, add tarragon and thyme.
  • Bake: Preheat the oven to 175C / 350F and adjust the oven rack to a middle position. Take the baking pan, lined with pastry crust out of the refrigerator and thinly spread with orange jam. Evenly spread the apples on top and sprinkle with crumble. Load into the hot oven and bake for 50 – 55 minutes until the top is golden. 30 minutes into the baking sprinkle the top with fresh thyme sprigs and continue baking.
  • Take out of the oven and let cool down, before generously dusting with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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