Henry Ford Health System
Published 5:01 AM EST Nov 4, 2018
Today's light and airy Apple Sharlotka, also known as Russian Apple Cake, is a perfect balance of sweet and tart.
A few things really piqued my interest when I saw this recipe. First, the ingredients are simple and basic. I love coming across recipes that call for ingredients that are already in my kitchen.
Second, this dessert couldn't be easier to make. Just be sure you spend the required time (5 to 6 minutes) beating the eggs and sugar. This introduces air bubbles into the batter and gives the cake more lift. This step is especially important in sponge-type cake recipes like this one that don't call for butter.
Finally, any dessert that incorporates a generous amount of fiber-rich apples just has to be tried. Some of that fiber is called pectin, a heart-healthy soluble fiber that can help lower levels of LDL, or bad, cholesterol in the blood. And, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, pectin also helps bacteria that are naturally found in the gut to produce compounds that may protect colon cells from cancer.
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When assembling this cake, I followed the directions and placed the sliced apples in the bottom of the baking dish and poured the batter on top. The apples didn't move, creating an apple layer on the bottom of the cake. I wasn't sure I liked that, so I tried the recipe again, this time gently folding the sliced apples into the batter. Still, the apples migrated to the bottom of the cake. Tossing the apple slices in a little flour may help suspend them in the batter, but I hesitated introducing more flour into the batter. In the end, I decided I liked the apples at the bottom of the cake.
I used Granny Smith apples in today's recipe. Apples best suited for baked goods resist breaking down and forming a mushy mess. Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu (also known as Crispin), Pink Lady (also known as Cripps Pink), and Winesap would also work well.
Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute. For questions about today's recipe, call 313-972-1920.
Apple Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)
Serves: 9 / Prep time: 25 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Vegetable oil cooking spray
4 cups thinly sliced apples (Gala or Granny Smith work
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, toss apples with 1 tablespoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon; set aside while preparing cake batter.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining cinnamon. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat remaining 1 cup sugar, eggs and vanilla for 5 to 6 minutes. Gently fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined. Add apples and juices to batter and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD for Heart Smart and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
219 calories (8% from fat), 2 grams fat (1 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 47 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 113 mg sodium, 83 mg cholesterol, 53 mg calcium, 2 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit.