Polish Apple Pie (Szarlotka)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A traditional Polish dessert made with three layers of cake, cinnamon-caramel apples, and a crumble topping.
Serves: 10-12
For the Crust/Topping:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
For the Filling:
  • 4 pounds apples (usually about 4 apples), thinly sliced (you can peel them if you like, but I prefer the texture of the skins)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together. Cube your butter and add to the flour, then use your hands to cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized crumbs form. Beat your eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl and add them to your flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix until moistened. Add in your milk and use a wooden spoon to mix. Add a little more milk, if needed, until a firm but still sticky ball of dough comes together.
  3. Divide the dough into two balls, one with about ⅔ of the dough and the other with about ⅓ of the dough. Wrap the smaller ball in plastic wrap, form into a disc, and place in the freezer until ready to use. Add the remaining ⅔ of the dough to the buttered pan, pressing it into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed up and starting to get golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. While the bottom crust bakes, slice your apples and cook them over medium heat with the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or so, until slightly softened. Remove from the heat pour over the warm bottom crust.
  5. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and break it up in uneven pieces all over the top of the cake (it should be rustic looking, so don't worry about it being perfect). Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden and set.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour before running a knife around the cake and removing it from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, with or without whipped cream or ice cream. This cake will keep well covered and at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Adapted From
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2017/02/07/polish-apple-pie-szarlotka/