Apple coffee cake (Sharlotka)

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I was looking near and far for the perfect apple cake recipe; we call it Sharlotka in my country. It is very popular back home, and I’ve tried a few of the recipes before, but still thought they all were missing something. So I decided to look through several recipes and  figure out the combination of ingredients that I like.

When it comes to apples, it’s best to choose the ones that are a little sour, like Granny Smith, but you can also use whatever you have on hand in your kitchen. I used young Gala apples here. I didn’t even bother to peel them, as the peel was very tender, but in general it is better to peel the apples. You can slice them or cube them.

I added well-drained cottage cheese, but you can use farmers cheese instead, or omit it altogether. Sometimes I bake this cake with, and sometimes without it, depending on what I crave that particular day. The first photo above is a piece of this apple cake without cheese (and with cranberries just on top), the second photo – with cheese, and two layers of cranberries. As you see, there are several variations, and you are free to choose whatever you like!

Well, now the recipe!

Ingredients:

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5-7 small apples

2 tsp lemon juice

1 C all-purpose flour

2/3 C sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 C whole milk plain organic yogurt

3 large eggs

2/3 C well-drained cottage cheese (or farmers cheese), optional

1/4 C coconut oil, at room temperature

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 C dried cranberries (or raisins), optional

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 355 degrees F. Line your baking dish with parchment paper (mine is about 9 1/2 inches in diameter) and spray it with cooking spray.

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.

Slice apples (although this apple slicer was pretty handy,  I had to cut almost each slice in half as they were too thick).

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Mix apples with lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing, add lemon zest, and set aside.

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In the bowl of a mixer beat the eggs a little, then slowly start adding the sugar and continue to beat until it becomes light, foamy, and almost doubled in size.

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Add yogurt, vanilla, and coconut oil, and carefully fold it into the egg-and-sugar mixture using a rubber spatula.

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Sift flour into the mixture and gently fold it in.

  Pour a small amount of the dough into the prepared baking dish.

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Arrange half of the apples on top.

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Place cottage cheese (if using) on top of apples, sprinkle with half of the cranberries.

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Pour the rest of the dough on top of the apples.

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Arrange the rest of the apples, add cinnamon and the other half of the cranberries.

Press very gently on the apples, so they sink into the batter a little.

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Bake in an oven preheated to 355 degrees for 50 minutes (check after 40 minutes, as ovens vary).

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Let sit for about 10 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.

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Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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