FOR THE MASS:
500 g common wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 lemon lemon zest
2 tablespoons cream
1 pinch salt
FOR THE FILLING:
1 lemon lemon juice
30 g corn starch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
Put the sifted flour together with the baking powder in a large bowl. Grate the yellow part of the lemon on top and a pinch of salt. If we don’t have baking powder, we split the lemon and squeeze a little juice out of it, about a tablespoon. Add the baking soda to the lemon juice, stir and add to the flour. Baking soda and lemon juice replace baking powder. Grate the butter and mix a little. The butter has to be cold, fresh from the fridge. In shortcrust pastry, we never heat the butter in the microwave.
Then add the sugar and the two eggs and mix to incorporate them. We reserve the cream for the last moment and only add it if the dough requires it. I did not need it and depending on the humidity of the flour you may need a maximum of two tablespoons.
The shortcrust pastry is not kneaded very much and we have to try not to heat it too much with the heat of our hands, since after baking, instead of coming out crispy it would become hard.
As soon as we feel that the ingredients have been incorporated and the dough has become smooth, we cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator, while we prepare the apple filling.
Peel and cut the apples into small cubes. You can use any kind of apples, but green Granny Smith apples are best. Put them in a saucepan, add the juice of a lemon, the sugar and the cornstarch. Bring the pan to medium heat and mix. Once it starts to boil, cook for 2 minutes without stopping stirring. The apples stay al dente, half done. Remove from the heat and let it cool until we prepare the mold.
Prepare the 24 cm diameter mold by covering the base with parchment paper and buttering the sides.
We take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove the plastic and divide it into two, one part larger than the other. The smallest part, we put it on the floured table and stretch it with a roller giving it a round shape. This part is going to be the top of the cake so to get the right size, we mark it with the mold and cut it with a knife. We put it on a sheet of parchment paper, cover it and store it in the refrigerator. We flour the dough again and take the largest part of the dough and just like the first, we give it a round shape a little larger than the base of the mold that we are going to use. We take it with the help of the rolling pin and place it in the mold, covering the sides well as I show you in the video. We shape it by hand adjusting it to the mold. Finally, we remove with a knife, or with our fingers the excess dough from the edges.
Let’s pour the apple filling that has already been tempered and smooth it out a bit. To prevent the dough from getting soggy too quickly, before adding the filling, you can sprinkle the base with 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs, cookie crumbs, oatmeal, or wheat semolina (I think the latter is the best option). It’s completely optional, but it helps a lot with humidity control. Finally we put the dough that we had reserved on top and fold the edges inwards. We spread with an egg yolk and decorate to our liking or even leave it as is. I put some black and white sesame seeds. Leftover dough keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. It can be used to prepare cookies or as a base for cakes.
Once finished, we take the cake to the oven and bake at 180ºC (356ºF) for 45 – 50 minutes.
It is a true delight!! It has an exquisite combination of textures, flavors and smells! The crunchy texture on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside, the explosion of flavors and the rich smell of baked apple, cinnamon and lemon, result in a true delight for the palate.
I encourage you to try it, you will love it!!