I caught myself thinking “I should bake something so that I have something to blog about”. When I started my blog, this was something I promised myself I will try to avoid. To keep this blog as something relaxing and fun and not another responsibility.
So I waited..The sugar overdose during Christmas holidays must have been strong as my mood for baking was quite low in the last two weeks. But today, finally, I felt it’s time to try a recipe from the new cookbooks I found under the Christmas tree!
To keep the first bake of the year relatively light and easy, I chose this fruity recipe. It is from a Czech cookbook “Sladká první republika”, which could be translated as Sweet First (Czechoslovak) Republic. It contains slightly modernized recipes for the traditional Czech desserts and cakes, mostly from the beginning of 20th century. [The First Czechoslovak Republic was the state that existed from 1918 to 1938].
I am happy with the result of this first try, so I am definitely going to continue trying the recipes from this book.
- 220 g quark from semi-skimmed milk
- 150 g plain flour
- 100 g cold butter
- pinch of salt
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- around 600 g apples (typically 3 bigger apples)
- 1.5 tablespoons baking soda
- 50 g cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Preheat oven to 170ºC (338ºF). Butter and flour a cake form.
Make the dough
In a big bowl, mix together quark, flour, butter, salt and lemon zest. I think the best is to use your hands to really blend the cold butter with the rest of the ingredients. Try to work fast so that the butter does not get too soft. Wrap the dough in plastic foil and place it in a fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling
In the meantime, peel and core the apples. Cut around 2/3 of the apples into small cubes. In a pot or a deeper pan, mix the apple cubes with sugar, baking soda and cinnamon. Add some water (around 3 tablespoons, not too much) and cook them over medium-high heat until soft. Stir occasionally and add water as needed. Optional: Once cooked, you can mash the apples into puree.
Cut the rest of the apples into thin slices and mix them with the cooked apples.
Bake the pie
Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a large floured surface. Roll it out to around 5mm thick and place it in the cake form so that also the sides of the form are partly covered. This was actually the trickiest part as the dough did not want to stick to the sides of the form very well. Don’t try for the sides of the pie to go up to the edge of the form. It should not be needed as the amount of apple filling is not too big. I tried and the sides of the pie collapsed after a few minutes of baking so that it looked like a galette without any filling and I had to quickly take the form out of the oven and repair it.
Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Take the form out of the oven and add the apple mixture into it. Put the form back to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes (minimum, keep the form in the oven until the edges start getting golden).