Polish Apple Cake {Jabłecznik}

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Polish Apple Cake {Jabłecznik}

Warm and tangy apple filling surrounded by a soft and flaky lemony crust is what makes up the classic Polish Apple Cake. How do you say no to this? You don’t. 

My dad (a child of 6) said that his mom would make two full size cake pans of this delight around the holidays and one would be gone before it could cool. Second one would have to be put away, so they have some for actual holiday to enjoy. More than once she’d find the second pan half-eaten and I don’t blame them!

There were many wild apple trees growing in the open field behind the house, so baking this sweet dessert was an easy choice. Often, during the “apple season” babcia would task the kids to bring a basket full of apples home. She’d peel, core the apples, shred and then finally cook the sweet fruit. Jars of spiced apples would line the shelves of the basement pantry and help to cut down on the baking time in the future. 

Soon, the smell of cinnamon and sweet dough would fill the house and bring them all running for fresh jabłecznik.

Polish Apple Cake {Jabłecznik}

  • Yields: 10-12 servings
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 yolk (reserve the egg white)
  • 1 c / 120 g of powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ c / 315 g of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 7 oz / 200 g of cold butter
  • FILLING:
  • 10 tart apples
  • ¼ c / 50 g of granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. To prepare the crust: whip the egg and an egg yolk with sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and lemon zest. Cold cold butter into small cubes and also add to the mixture. Mix and knead until just combined with the help of a utensil. Finished dough should have lumps of butter in it. Butter will make the crust flaky.

  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. To make the filling: peel and core apples. Grate on the largest side of a box vegetable grater and place in a deep frying pan. Add sugar, zest, and lemon juice and cook on medium until all juice evaporates (about 30 minutes). Set aside to cool.

  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 inch / 23 x 23 centimeter baking dish with butter (or line with parchment paper).

  6. Cut the dough in half, place between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to fit your baking dish. Make sure there is enough dough to cover the sides as well. Distribute evenly on the bottom and all the way up the sides. Scoop the cool filling onto the bottom of the crust. Roll out the remaining half of the dough and place on top of the filling.

  7. Whisk the egg white and a teaspoon of water with a fork, and brush onto the top of the crust.

  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy before it’s all gone! This may just replace your favorite apple pie next dinner party 🙂

Smacznego!

Anna

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14 Comments

  1. I just wanted to say thank-you. My husband if Polish, and I try to make him food from his home land. You have a wonderful variety of recipes here, and I am so excited to try them out!
    Thanks again,
    Bette

    1. Bette! Thanks for checking in! I’m curious if you’ll like Polish food. Let me know what your husband thought after trying some. Anna

  2. I used agave syrup instead of sugar in the same quantities and recommend putting the dough in the freezer rather than just the fridge for 1 hour to make it easier to grate, otherwise delicious.

  3. After you grate the dough, do you really pressure down or simply make an even later and leave it as sort of loose bits? So interesting, I’ve never seen this method before!

  4. Hi Anna
    I am in a process of making the pie but I am confused about quantity of the apples. Your recipe says to use about 10 apples which you say is about 1 pound but normally 2-4 apples make a 1 pound ?
    Can you please advice ?
    Thank you

  5. Enjoyed this video very much. Lucky me,I love apple cake and first tried the Polish version when I married into a (ex.) Polish family.
    Although some may suggest that videos could be shorter, I don’t mind in the least..it’s rather calming for me. However, and please do not take offense …what I do find distracting, is the commentary in your back ground. I feel it not necessary for a “phantom” 2nd. party to engage in the chefs demo. Perhaps if they were not the camera person and participated beside you, that might be the exception.
    Thank you for all you do. It’s easy to feel the passion you exude in your art.
    Your Babica would be proud.
    God Bless.

  6. I thought this was great and the video was entertaining enough that I watched it twice. ‘Must be the first husband in the history of the world that likes to hear his wife talk…this one’s taken ladies’. That’s classic! I wanted to know if it’s 350 F (356 ish, I think is the 180 C conversion) or 400 F like in the written recipe? I missed that part when I was laughing at the commentary the first time and just did the 400F.

  7. Thank you for this recipe. This is one of my favorites that my mom used to make. Made it for Christmas, it was a huge hit

  8. Thank you for this recipe! We really enjoyed making and eating this dish.
    I noticed the recipe doesn’t say when to add the Cinnamon. I found it in the video though. 🙂
    Happy new year!!

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