- 3lbs of apples
- 2 cups of wheat flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 (flat) tablespoon of vanilla sugar
- 3 oz. of white sugar
- 2 tablespoons of potato starch
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups of apple cider
- 3 oz. of toasted almond shaves
- 1 (flat) tablespoon of cinnamon
Did you know that in recent years Poland has ranked as the top producer and exporter of apples in the European Union? It has also been the 4th top producer of the fruit in the world, only a few places behind much larger countries like China and the U.S.. Poland has been growing apples since at least the 12th century, and with such a long history and large production of this fruit it’s no wonder that in almost every Polish region there’s a great recipe for apple pie! Poland’s natural, delicately sweet apples certainly make for a really great version of this favorite dessert. Called “Jablecznik” or “Szarlotka” in Polish, its aroma is often associated with fond, childhood memories of Babcia’s (grandma’s) home. Smacznego!
To make the pie…
- Sift the flour onto a pastry mat
- Gentle pour the other ingredients into the pile of flour
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla sugar
- White sugar
- A generous pinch of salt.
- Use your hands to begin kneading the dough, rolling it into a circular shape.
- Once you’ve achieved a smooth piece of dough cut it in half and wrap each half in saran wrap. Place one half in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Place the second half in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Peel the apples.
- Cut the apples into large slices.
- Set a large saucepan on the stove and toss in all the apple slices.
- Pour the apple cider over the apples and stew the apples in the cider until the alcohol evaporates out of the cider.
- Add in the cinnamon, give the apples a good stir and let them cook for a few minutes, covering the saucepan with a lid.
- Once you see the apples have reduced in size and absorbed the majority of the cider, add in the 2 tablespoons of potato starch and mix thoroughly. The apple sauce should now start to gain an elastic, jelly-like consistency.
- Continue stirring for 3-4 more minutes until the sauce has turned into a golden brown jelly with both smaller and larger bits of apples.
- Come back to the half piece of dough that was left in the refrigerator and begin to roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about a quarter inch thick.
- Prep a non-stick, spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- Line the bottom of the pan with the dough, covering it in full, piece by piece, smoothing it even with your hands.
- Set your oven to 350º Fahrenheit and bake the pie bottom for 25 minutes, then remove it from the oven and let cool.
- Now that the apple sauce has cooled stir in the toasted almonds
- Once the pie bottom is done baking and has cooled, place the apple sauce into the pan, smoothing it out evenly at the top
- Take the second dough halve that was set in the freezer and crumble it over the top of the pie using a grater. Continue until you create a thick coat of crumbled dough over the pie
- Set the oven to 350º Fahrenheit and let the pie bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven and set aside to cool
Decorate and enjoy …
- To finish the pie, simply sift a generous amount of powdered sugar over the top and enjoy
- OR, top with some Angel Hair Caramel! - As an additional option, you can also make angel hair caramel to place over the top of the pie.
- To make the angel hair caramel:
- Pour 1 tablespoon of water into a small saucepan on the stove
- Sift in 3 oz. of sugar into the water and let it begin to dissolve and heat
- Once the sugar in the saucepan has dissolved and cooked to a golden brown caramel you can begin to form the angel hair
- Prep your kitchen by lining your floor with paper towels
- Prep a tablespoon and a long, wooden kitchen spoon
- Scoop a half-tablespoon of the caramel and drizzle it back and forth over the handle of the spoon allowing the caramel to fall naturally in long strings on each side.
- Continue this process until the spoon handle is filled with caramel strands. Then, gently slide them off the spoon and roll them into a small nest in your hand.
- Place the angel hair caramel over the top of the pie (which should already be covered in powdered sugar), arranging the strands into a small nest
- Continue this process until you’ve made as much caramel angel hair as you wish for your pie
- As a final touch you can add petals of begonia flower into the nest of caramel on the pie! These petals are not only edible, they taste like apples!
- To see this process in full, see episode #8 of Flavor of Poland
- Finally, cut a slice (or two) and enjoy!