Charlotte is loved all over the world, but in some coutries it is a pudding, in others – cold dessert, and in Russia it is a simple apple pie. In this article we will tell you about the Russian version of charlotte, called sharlotka, and give you a recipe to make it at home.
A bit of history
It seems that all modern types of charlotte come from English pudding. That first and simple charlotte was a cold dessert for which wetted slices of bread were stacked in layers and interspersed with chopped fruits.
Some sources tell a romantic legend about a cook from the UK who was hopelessly in love with a girl named Charlotte and for whom he created a wonderful apple dessert and named it after his love. There is no documental confirmation of this theory, but the beautiful story lives.
According to Wikipedia, Russian charlotte was invented in London at the beginning of the 19th century by the French chef Marie-Antoine Carême. He replaced the bread in the recipe with savoyardi cookies or a finished biscuit and added Bavarian or whipped cream. The dish was originally called “charlotte à la parisienne” (Paris charlotte). However In 1814, when Russian tsar Alexander I entered Paris as a winner and the chef offered him his dessert, it became famous all over the world under the name “charlotte russe” (Russian charlotte).
Another interesting fact from Wikipedia tell us that at the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX centuries, in Russia, there were many German bakeries in which this dessert was prepared from the left overs of bread and bakery products. The Russians laughed at Germans saying that their wives save money by making pies from dry bread and often called the wives themselves Charlotte. Indeed, the name Charlotte was very popular at that time and became a nickname for any German woman living in Russia.
With a wave of foreign chefs arriving in Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries, a number of charlotte recipes adapted to Russian realities appeared, as a result a charlotte based on rye bread was born. At the beginning of the 20th century, in Russia, charlotte turned into a very simple biscuit pie with apples which every housewife knows. “Charlotte russe”, on the other side, did not become popular at all (probably due to the fact that during cold Russian winters Russian people preferred something warm and not cold).
So many generations of Russian have grown on a simple recipe for apple charlotte. And although Russian women are so talented that at the moment there are a lot of variations of this simplest pie, everyone still dearly loves the classic recipe for charlotte, or rather not a recipe but proportions that each one completes to their taste.
So let’s talk about this recipe now…
The classic recipe includes:
Sugar: 1 glass
Flour: 1 glass
Eggs: 4 pcs.
Baking soda (slaked with vinegar): 1/2 tbsp.
We strongly recommend taking sour varieties of apples. Also, slaked soda can be replaced with baking powder. And if you wish, you can add vanilla sugar to taste.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Separate the whites from the yolks. Whip the whites into a strong foam gradually adding sugar.
3. Continue to whip adding one yolk one by one, then slaked soda and flour. The consistency of the dough should resemble sour cream.
4. Grease a wide baking pan with vegetable oil. Pour half the dough into the baking pan, spread sliced apples, pour the second half of the dough on top.
5. Place the baking pan in a preheated oven. Hold for 3 minutes at a temperature of 200 degrees, then reduce to 180 and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Your sharlotka is ready! Bon appetit! 🙂