Apple Fladen (Hungarian) (1919) ★★★★

A slightly altered recipe for Apple Fladen
in the Oct. 22 1934 Spokesman-Review
I had a bunch of egg yolks left over from making my foam torte, and I found this recipe while searching for a way to use them up. I searched around for a bit, but couldn't find any references to "Apple Fladen" aside from this recipe itself. All I found was that "fladen" means "cakes" in German. I tried looking for variants of "Hungarian apple cake/pie/squares" and found that there is a Hungarian dessert known as Almas Pite which is very similar to this recipe. Hungary is actually a big exporter of apples, and almas pite is often made during the Christmas holidays.
One intriguing thing I did find was this recipe for apple fladen, which was printed in the Spokesman-Review in 1934 in response to a reader's query: "Recipe for a different apple dessert?" The Spokesman-Review is printed out of Washington, USA. The recipe printed is nearly a direct quote of the The International Jewish Cook Book recipe. It made me wonder why the author of the recipe column decided to feature this recipe (and without credit, too!). Obviously they had access to The International Jewish Cook Book, because the recipe is almost word-for-word. It was not necessarily the 1919 book either - The International Jewish Cook Book was popular for many years.

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:
I made two minor substitutions in this recipe: I used dark raisins instead of golden, and chopped up some whole almonds myself instead of using powdered almonds.
These are pretty much apple pie bars. However, there is a LOT of apple filling, so these are best eaten with a fork. The filling is nice, but the granny smith apples I used were VERY tart. If I made this again, I would probably use a mixture of sweet and sour apples. Also, I think I slightly undercooked the pastry, but it was still nice (yum, yum, sour cream pastry!) and the egg white made the top very brown and beautiful.
I baked mine on a cookie sheet, which was fine, but a 9x13 casserole dish would probably also work well.
Overall, 4 stars. Mr. Man and Little Y liked them, but they "weren't a favourite." Mr. Man really liked the pastry, and Little Y seemed to prefer the filling.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from The International Jewish Cook Book)

1 pound FLOUR
4 tablespoons POWDERED SUGAR
A dash of SALT
1/2 cup SOUR CREAM
2 pounds SOUR APPLES, peeled and minced
SUGAR, to taste (I used 3 tablespoons)
CINNAMON, to taste (I used 1 tablespoon)
4 tablespoons BREAD CRUMBS
2 tablespoons POWDERED ALMONDS

1. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the flour, powdered sugar, and butter, using your hands, a pastry cutter, or a food processor. When well blended, add the egg yolks and sour cream. Knead together until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to your fingers. Wrap it up and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour.
2. In a large bowl. mix together the minced apples, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Roll out half of the dough into a rectangle and lay it in a greased 9x13 pan or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Trim the edges with a knife if necessary.
4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto the bottom layer of the pastry. Add the apple filling. Roll out the second half of the pastry and place it on top of the apple filling. Trim if necessary.
5. Brush the top of the pastry with an egg white. Sprinkle on the almonds. Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.