Today is Dorie Greenspan’s Birthday. I’ve made so many recipes from Dorie’s cookbooks: Baking from My Home to Yours and Baking with Julia. The Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers thought that baking something in honor of Dorie’s birthday would be nice. I wanted to go back to the book I started with, Baking from My Home to Yours, and find a recipe to try. I’ve made most of the recipes in the book, but there are still some recipes that I haven’t yet tried.
I ended up picking the Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie Cake. I love desserts with apple. I also studied Russian history in college so why wouldn’t I like this? I was actually surprised that I hadn’t made this yet. You make a cookie-dough like pastry and then fill the two rounds of pastry with apples. How could I not like that?
I forgot how much I love the recipes in this cookbook. The write ups give each individual recipe such personality that it’s so fun to make things. I opted to make this in a deep dish pie pan, so I had extra dough left over. I used 7 apples because apples I buy in Washington State are very large. I used a combination of Fuji and Gala apples, and my only complaint is that the filling was a bit dry. I suspect that’s based on the type of apple I used. I really enjoyed making this and I was glad to try a new recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours. Happy Birthday Dorie!
Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie Cake
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups flour
Fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup raisins
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sugar or coarse sugar
Make the dough: In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until light, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Add the lemon juice and stir, it’s ok if the mixture curdles. With the mixer still on low, gradually add 3-1/4cups flour. If the dough doesn’t quite clean the sides of the bowl, add the addition ¼ cup flour. I did need to add the extra flour.
Divide the dough into halves and shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
Prepare the apples: Peel and core the apples and slice about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if desired. Combine the apples with the lemon juice and then add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and then sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a deep dish pie plate and place the pie plate on a baking sheet.
Assemble: remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes. Roll out one piece of dough on a well-floured surface to a circle about 2 inches wider than the base of your pie pan and ¼”thick. Transfer the dough to the pie pan so the dough comes up the sides of the pan slightly. Spread the apples evenly over the dough.
Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. You should have about a ½ inch overhang. Press the top and bottom crust together. Brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 6-8 slits in the top crust.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the juices from the apples bubble up through the slits. Cool on a wire rack until warm or room temperature.
Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan