This is the standard apple cake found in Russian homes and cafés. Its nickname is ‘guest-atthe-doorstep’ apple sharlotka as it’s so quick and easy to make.
juice of 1 lemon and finely grated zest of ½ lemon
6 tart apples (such as Granny Smiths) 3 large eggs
200g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract 125g plain flour icing sugar, for dusting
1 2 Preheat the oven to 180C / 170C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin.
Put the lemon juice in a bowl. Peel and core the apples and chop the flesh, tossing it at once in the lemon juice, to stop the flesh discolouring. 3 Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and foamy, and forms ribbons when drizzled. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, then fold in the flour and apple pieces. Scrape into the cake tin. There should be apples on the surface of the cake. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the cake is coming away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 4 Remove the tin and paper and slide the cake on to a serving plate. Leave to cool then sift over icing sugar. Serve.