Hot. Cool. Yours: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

No Olympic Games table would be complete without a good dessert. In my house, it will be Sharlotka, Russian apple cake. 

Sharlotka was a dessert staple in our house when I was little. Pretty much everyone was making it, recipes varied a little from family to family. Sharlotka was the first thing I learned to make, even before I learned to boil water for pasta. It is fast, easy, and perfect for cold winter nights (like the ones we’re experiencing right now). Or you can serve it for Thanksgiving as well. 
3 Eggs
1C Flour
1C Sugar
2-3 Apples depending on size (I prefer Grammy Smith)
A Couple of Dashes of Ground Cloves
1/2t Baking Soda

9 inch spring-form baking pan

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease the baking pan. Cut the apples into chunks but no bigger than ¾'' by ¾''. Dump the apples into the pan. In a medium size bowl, whisk Eggs. Add Sugar and whisk until the mixture is forming ribbons. Slowly add Flour. At this point I switch to a mixing spoon to make it easier. Once Flour is well incorporated, add Ground Cloves. You want enough to perfume the mixture and see tiny brown flecks throughout. But don’t over do it. Add Baking Soda but do not mix it in yet. Squeeze enough fresh Lemon Juice over the Baking Soda so that all the Soda starts to foam. Once reaction is complete, mix in the foam very gently. Pour the batter over the apples.

Bake until the crust is matte and crispy (it will be the color of sand) and the wooden toothpick comes out dry (as long is you don’t skewer an apple piece), about 25-30 minutes. I use convection feature on my oven to get the crisp crust.

My family always enjoyed it plain with some hot tea, Terry likes it warmed up with vanilla ice cream on top. Some people finish the cake off with dusting of powered sugar, but I never do, it can get pretty sweet on its own depending on apples you use.