Peach and Almond Sharlotka
In the blink of an eye the warm Chicago summer I was looking forward to through all of the polar winters has almost passed us by. And I am sad. Yes, I know, fall is full of vibrant colors and warm soups and football Sundays… But summers are glorious! They are full of lazy pool days, late evening BBQ’s, last minute trips to the lake, outdoor picnics, zoo trips… The list goes on and on and on. Another ones of those typical summer things are peaches. Golden, ripe and juicy peaches! Even a bit bruised and beat up, they are still gorgeously picturesque. And the perfect summer peach only exists in the summers (duh!). So before my stash of summer peaches went bad I decided to whip something up. Enter the “sharlotka”.
What’s a sharlotka? Well, it is the easiest darn cake you will ever whip up. EVER! And it’s gorgeous. And delicious.
“Sharlotka” is also my daughter’s Charlie (Charlotte) nickname in Russian. And this dessert makes me think of her. Deliciously sweet and tart at the very same time. The perfect combination to any dessert and to drive any parent crazy! 🙂
My “sharlotka” requires one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep time. Typically “sharlotka” is made with apples, but it can be made with any fruit whatsoever and I chose our glorious summer “stone fruit”.
6-7 medium fruit such as peaches, plums or, of course, apples
1/2 a cup of slivered almonds
1/4 cup craisens (dry cranberries)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
butter for greasing pan
powdered sugar for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cover a 9-inch spring foam pan with butter and parchment.
3. Set aside your pan and go ahead and peel and slice your fruit. It doesn’t have to be super pretty.
4. Place your fruit into the buttered spring pan. Add in your slivered almonds and toss everything lightly, so it’s nicely mixed.
5. Add craisens.
6. And I like to add in about 2 tbsp of fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 tbsp orange zest to the mix as well. Toss, toss, toss!
7. The next part you can do by hand with a whisk or in a mixer in a bowl. Add sugar and eggs.
8. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the eggs and sugar, until it gets to the ribbon stage (about 3 minutes on high).
9. Then add in flour, baking powder and vanilla and allow mixing until everything is just mixed.
10. Then pour over your peaches and plums.
11. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes.
12. Then remove from the spring pan (you can keep the bottom of the spring pan) and let it rest until cooled.
13. Once cooled, remove the spring pan bottom and parchment paper.
14. First, mark cake with a knife, where you will be slicing. Then take a large piece of floss and go across through the cake. It is VERY important that the cake is completely cool prior to slicing. Or it will get a bit messy. Do so for each mark made in the cake by the knife.
15. Now sprinkle with powdered sugar and give yourself a slice!
Please note: This cake has most of the fruit served at the top, because I did not mix the fruit into the batter. Traditionally, the fruit is mixed into the cake. If that is the result you are looking for, simply mix the fruit into the batter delicately with a spatula after the flour is combined.
For a step by step tutorial and more pictures go to www.girlandthekitchen.com.