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Apple Tart Recipe - Polish Szarlotka

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Polish Apple Tart or Szarlotka

Polish Apple Tart or Szarlotka

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Apple tart or szarlotka is the Polish version of American apple pie, except the crust is sweeter and made with butter. Szarlotka is different from placek ze jablka or apple cake, which is leavened with baking powder or baking soda. But, these two desserts along with sernik or cheesecake make up the most frequently seen sweets in Polish homes.

Here's a larger photo of szarlotka.

Makes 1 (12-inch) tart or 1 (10-inch) deep-dish Polish Apple Tart or Szarlotka

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Tart Dough:
  • 13 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • .
  • Apple Filling:
  • 3 pounds tart apples like Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • .
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream for glaze

Preparation:

  1. To make the tart dough: In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour and cut in butter as for pie dough. Combine egg yolk with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Add to flour-sugar-butter mixture and bring pastry to a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, for the filling, mix the cubed apples with the lemon juice and place in a nonstick skillet and saute until most of the juices have evaporated and the apples are just starting to soften but are still raw. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, combine with sugar and cinnamon, if using.

  3. On a lightly floured surface roll 2/3 of pastry dough to a 14-inch circle and fit into a 12-inch tart pan, doubling the side walls. Or fit into a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan. Return to refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. Roll 1/3 of pastry dough to 1/4-inch thickness and, using a pizza cutter, make enough 1/2-inch strips for a lattice top. Place on flat surface and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You might have dough left over, which is great for small tarts.

  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place lined tart pan on a baking pan and top the pastry with a piece of parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans. Bake blind for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is light golden. Remove from oven and remove the parchment and pie weights.

  5. Add the cooled apple filling to the parbaked crust. Remove pastry dough strips from refrigerator and make a lattice top over the filling. Brush lattice strips with heavy cream and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool.

  6. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. A dollop of whipped cream never hurts!
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