This Czech recipe is one of my favorite recipes from my childhood. The apple layer combined with fluffy meringue on the top is very refreshing and perfect for summertime.
This dessert requires a little bit more effort and time, but you will be rewarded with the perfect taste. As a base for the Countess Cake, I am using gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour), 4 eggs (I used for the dough, only egg yolks, and save the egg whites for the meringue), dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks), sugar, and baking powder. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. I am doing it the good, old way – using my hands. After the dough is consistent, create a big ball. Cut approximately 1/3 of the dough and wrap this piece in wrapping foil. Put this small piece of dough in the freezer. This piece will be used towards the end. Now, you can prepare the pan which you will be using for baking. Cover the pan with a thin layer of butter and powder it with flour. Take the remaining 2/3 of the dough and using your hands, press the dough in a 1/2 inch layer to cover the whole surface of the baking pan or sheet.
Now is the time to prepare the apple filling. Peel 5 big apples (you can use more if you want a thicker layer of apples). Use a kitchen grater to grate all apples. Add apples to the dough, which you prepared in the previous step. Sprinkle the layer of apples with granulated sugar and add cinnamon.
In the next step, prepare the meringue layer. Use the egg whites saved from the dough preparation and add two more egg whites (I like a thicker layer of the meringue and 6 eggs are the perfect amount). Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until they will start to thicken. Then add powdered sugar and also corn starch to ensure that the meringue will be nice and thick. Once the meringue is finished, you can layer it on top of the apples.
In the last step, take out the remaining 1/3 of the dough from the freezer and grate it using a kitchen grater. Sprinkle the whole surface of the meringue with the grated dough.
Bake the cake until the dough on the top will have a pinkish/brownish color. Let the cake cool off and then serve with a little bit of powdered sugar.
- 2.5 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar + a little extra sugar for apples
- 6 eggs
- 5 apples
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 200 g dairy-free butter
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Prepare the dough: put together gluten-free flour, granulated sugar, 4 egg yolks, butter, and mix it by hand in a bowl. After the dough is ready, cut 1/3 of the dough, wrap it in food foil, and put it in the freezer for later use. Press by hands the rest of the dough into the baking pan to create a 1/2 inch layer.
- Preheat the oven to 365°F.
- Prepare apple filling: peel 5 apples and grate them using a kitchen grater. Layer the apples on the dough. Sprinkle the apples with some granulated sugar and cinnamon.
- Prepare meringue layer: Add four egg whites saved from dough making and additional two egg whites into a bowl and whip them. Add into the meringue powdered sugar and corn starch to thicker the meringue. Spread the meringue on top of the apple layer.
- Take the dough which you put in the freezer at the beginning and grate it using kitchen granter. Sprinkle the dough pieces on top of the meringue.
- Bake the cake for approximately 45 minutes (or until golden) on 365°F.
- Let the desert cool off for two hours and serve with a little bit of powdered sugar on the top.