I ADORE Dorie Greenspan. She's a baking guru, she's knows how to make good stuff. There had been a basket of apples festering on the kitchen counter, begging to be baked I just knew I couldn't go wrong.
This is Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake. It's thick and dense and crumbly and heavy and not for the faint of heart. Don't get me wrong, it's good, it's not exactly everything I hoped for, but it's taken me a day and half a pie-cake to decide if I like it. I do.
Dorie also suggests that this dough, which is basically cookie dough, can also be used to make old fashioned sugar cookies. How perfect is that? I love you Dorie.
Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake
For the Dough:
2 sticks(8 ounces butter)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Apples:
10 medium apples
squirt of fresh lemon juice
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a mixer with paddle or with a hand-blender beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low and add baking powder and salt. Add the lemon juice-dough will probably curdle but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if it looks more like batter than dough at this point add extra 1/4 cup flour. Turn dough on work surface, gather into a ball and divide in half. Shape each half in a rectangle. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (dough will last up to 3 days)
Peep and core apples, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick. Toss in bowl with lemon juice and raisins. Combine sugar and cinnamon, toss with apple/raisin mixture.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-x-12 inch baking pan.
Remove dough from fridge. Roll out on well floured surface or between sheets of wax paper. Or (you can do as I did) press and roll pieces of dough and patch them together in pan. DON'T worry, because of the baking powder everything will work out fine.
Give apples a final toss in bowl and turn into pan, spread evenly across the bottom.
Roll out 2nd piece of dough and position it over the apples. (This took me forever and this was so frustrating I just gave up, I did as I did for the bottom dough layer, VERY ARTISTICALLY patching top dough layer together. It looked beautiful.)
Brush dough lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar over dough. Using a small sharp knife cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in dough.
Bake for 65 to 80 minutes or until dough is nice golden brown. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool until warm or room temperature. You'll be tempted to eat this right away but I (Dorie) think the dough needs a little time to rest. (Because Dorie is so AWESOME I obey her every word. I waited.)