Hungarian Apple Cake – Recipe
I was looking for a recipe for an apple cake that would resemble a favorite of mine baked by someone at my church, and this one comes extremely close to the taste I recall. The cake batter is not sweet and rather flaky once baked, almost like a pie crust, but the sweetness of the apple filling pulls it all together very nicely.
With my first try of this recipe, I was not very satisfied with the texture of the apple filling made from Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. After baking the cake for an hour the apples were still fairly crunchy, which was not the texture I prefer in an apple cake. I also used a rolled-out sheet of the dough as the top layer over the apple filling, as suggested in the original recipe.
This is my second time making this cake, so this time I used Mcintosh apples and decided on a lattice design for the top layer covering the apple filling. I was very pleased with the smooth and creamy apple filling in this cake.
Please note the creamy apple filling in the picture above, as a result of using the Mcintosh apples to bake with.
This recipe yields one 9″ x 13″ sheet cake.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (I use Gold Medal unbleached flour)
- 1 1/4 cup butter, cold (2.5 sticks)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 Tbs, sour cream
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup panko crumbs (to sprinkle over batter layer)
- 8 medium Mcintosh apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. cinnamon
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- In a large bowl place the sifted flour and the baking powder. Dip the cold butter into the flour to coat it, then shred on a large eye shredder over the flour and work it in gently with your hands to form a crumbly mixture.
- In a medium bowl beat the egg yolks with sour cream, salt, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine gently to form a soft dough. Do not over work the dough.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts, and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm it up a little.
- Prepare a 9" x 13" baking sheet by dabbing the bottom with Crisco shortening, then placing a parchment paper over it and greasing it generously with Crisco shortening. Set it aside for now.
- Prepare the apple filling, by peeling and coring the apples, then slicing them thinly.
- Place the apples in a colander over a bowl, then mix in the sugar and the cinnamon.
- Keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and work it a little in your hands to soften it for easier rolling.
- Form a 13 inch dough log, then place it on a piece of wax paper which should be a little bit larger than the baking pan. Using your fingers, work the dough log to form a rough rectangle, Cover it with another piece of wax paper and using a rolling pin start rolling the dough to a large enough size to cover the bottom and halfway up the sides of the baking pan (you can follow this step with soft dough is possible, then once all rolled out you can cool it in the fridge before lining the bottom of the pan with it. It actually is easier to work with this soft dough rather than the chunk of the cooled dough).
- Remove the top wax paper, then lift the dough with the other piece of the wax paper and invert it onto the baking sheet. Peel off the remaining wax paper and work gently with the tips of your fingers to line the bottom and up the sides of the pan with the dough.
- Sprinkle the panko crumbs evenly over the dough. This will absorb the juices from the apples so the bottom crust does not get soggy.
- Remove the apples from the fridge, mix them few times with a spoon, then spread them over the prepared dough base. Set aside.
- Work with the other half of the dough the same way as the first half. If you plan to use a flat piece of dough to cover the filling with, then it needs to be a bit larger than the pan so the sides can be pinched together with the bottom crust to seal in the filling. Also, you will need to make vents in the top crust, by pricking it with a fork, so the steam from the apples could escape during bakng.
- If you plan to make a lattice design for the top, then the rolled out dough can be the size of the pan, then cut into thin strips by using a pizza cutter or a knife, and criss crossed over the apple filling to form the lattice design.
- Using a fork, beat the leftover egg whites to a frothy mixture, then brushing it over the top layer with a pastry brush. This will form a golden crust during baking.
- Place the baking rack in the middle section of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cake for 60 minutes, or until the top becomes golden.
- Remove from the oven, and cool it in a pan on a wire rack. Please read the notes below on removing it from the pan.
- Once it is cooled you may slice it to serving pieces and sprinkle it with powdered sugar before serving.
- As with any fresh fruit filled pastry, for best results and to extend the shelf life of the baked goods, you should keep covered and refrigerated until few minutes before serving.
Since the crust is very delicate, it can easily crumble during removal from the pan. I placed a small cutting board over the top of the cake, and while holding it down with one hand I flipped the pan over so the cake rested on the cutting board on my counter top. Then I peeled off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, placed the wire rack over the bottom of the cake, grabbed the end edges of the cutting board with my hands and again inverted the cake off the cutting board onto the cooling rack to cool completely before cutting it into serving pieces,or you can wrap it up with aluminum foil and keep it refrigerated until ready to cut and serve.