Zosia's Szarlotka

crust (ciasto)

3 c  flour
2 t baking powder
2 T  sour cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 c white sugar
2 t vanilla extract (in Poland you'd use 1 packet of vanilla sugar)
2 1/2 sticks of butter (cold)

On a clean, smooth surface, cut together butter with flour and baking powder. Mix in vanilla and sour cream. With an electric mixer mix together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy and add to the flour/butter mixture. Knead together into a uniform ball.  Divide dough in half. Wrap one part in plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator until firm. Roll out the other half and place on bottom of a greased pan (springform cake pan works well), spread evenly.

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apple filling (nadzienie jablkowe)

1.5-2 lbs of apples (tart and firm work best, such as Fuji or Granny Smith)
3/4 c  sugar
optional - 1 t cinnamon or 1 t  ground cardamom

Peel and core the apples, grate on largest part of the grater, place in nonstick pot. Mix with sugar and spices and cook on low heat until slightly softened. If there is too much juice, drain some out to prevent over-soaking the crust. Cool.

Place cooled-down apple filling on top of the prepared crust, spreading evenly. Take out the second half of the prepared crust and make a crumbly topping. You can use the grater (largest holes) or just crumble the dough with your fingers. Spread evenly on the apples.

A variation here would be to use the 4 egg whites leftover from the crust-making. You can whip them into a stiff foam with a tablespoon of sugar, and spread over the apples before placing the crust topping on. Another variation would be rolling out the top crust (instead of crumbing it) and placing on top of the apples.

Bake in a preheated oven, 350 degrees, for 45-60 minutes. The top will be light brown when it is ready. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Traditionally, szarlotka is served warm from the oven, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream (vanilla bean ice cream is also delicious).