Charlotte, or in Russian - Sharlotka, is one of the most popular pies in Russia and it's so simple to make. Russian Sharlotka was invented in London in the 19th century by French Cook Marie Antoine Careme, serving to Russian Tsar Alexander 1. In the beginning the name of the dish was Charlotte à la Parisienne (Parisian Sharlotka). Later on, the dessert became famous all over the world by the name Charlotte Russe.
There are few other versions of the etymology of the name. I like the version, which is probably less accurate, is a love story about a simple cook. He fell in love with a woman named Charlotte. He created this dessert to attract the woman dear to his heart.
The original recipe, which is made with apples and is so dear to every Russian has been modified many times during the years and each good home cook, has their own version.
Here is my recipe for a Summer Sharlotka.
8 to 10
• 1 cup all-purpose flour+1/2 cups almond flour
• 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
• Zest from 1 large lemon or orange
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 cups fresh sweet or sour cherries, pitted or blueberries
• 1/2 good quality semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10 by 3 1/2-inches deep round baking pan.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale yellow. The more you beat, the more the cake will rise and the softer it will be. Add sour cream, lemon or orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated.
Pour 2 cups of the batter into prepared dish, evenly scatter 1 cup of cherries and then sprinkle with 1/4 cups chocolate chips. Repeat the same process one more time; then cover the top with the remaining batter and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for about 1 hour, rotating the baking dish halfway. If you see that the top browns too fast, tent the baking dish with foil and lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then run a paring knife around the edges and carefully invert to a serving platter. If desired, dust with confection’s sugar.
Serve at room temperature. I like to make and serve Sharlotka with an easy crème fraîche and honey topping . Just whisk together about 1/2 cup of crème fraîche with 2 teaspoons of honey.