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Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake [TWD]

Grandmothers Apple Pie-Cake
Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, introduced the apple to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance of apples.

After his father had lost two good farms during the American Revolution, he placed young John on the track as an apple orchard apprentice. When John left home, he set out planting nurseries (not orchards as the pictures often depict). He would return every two years or so to tend to the nursery. He asked that the trees be sold on credit but would accept items like cornmeal or used clothes.

He was given the apple seeds for free since the cider mills were vying for more apples. He dressed in the worst of his clothing and did not wear shoes. He had a very generous spirit and had a big heart towards animals, even insects.

March 11 is considered Johnny Appleseed Day. Today is considered the day of his death, although the exact date is disputed. Another Johnny Appleseed Day is sometimes celebrated in September for the day of his birth, but the March date is more common as it is during planting season. (Information from Wikipedia.)

 In celebration of Johnny Appleseed and his generous nature, I am sharing this beautiful Apple Pie Cake with you! Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake

Yield: 9 servings

Source: Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours


  • For The Dough
  • 100 grams of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • For The Filling
  • 5 medium apples
  • Squirt of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, soaked in hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting


  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Then, add the lime juice. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough should begin to pull off the sides of the bowl. If it does not, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Form dough into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days.
  3. Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lime juice. Add the craisins, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge. Press one half of the dough into the bottom of a 8x8 square baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Pour the apple mixture over the bottom dough. Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Tuck any excess into the sides of the pan.
  6. Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.
  7. Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature.


Bakers Notes: I did substitute dried cranberries for raisins since I am not a fan of raisins. Because of the humid climate, I likely should have added a tablespoon or two more flour since my dough was still a tad sticky and I had a lot of trouble rolling it out.


Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake is being served up for Tuesdays With Dorie. This weeks TWD recipe was chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits. Enjoy more Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie cake by visiting the blogroll at the Tuesdays With Dorie website.


40 Responses to “Russian Grandmothers Apple Pie Cake [TWD]”

  1. How neat is it that we poasted our pire today? Thank you for the information, I’ve always loved him and it was fun to read more accurate information. Your pie looks so nice, and I like your idea of using lime juice in the filling. Added more flour because of the humidity here too, it worked very well.

    Posted by lemontartlet | March 11, 2008, 9:08 am
  2. Great info..I had no idea! Your pics look wonderful!

    Posted by Annemarie | March 11, 2008, 9:32 am
  3. Thanks for sharing the story. I had no idea. And your pics look wonderful!

    Posted by Amy | March 11, 2008, 10:13 am
  4. What a great little history lesson, I haven’t thought about Johnny Appleseed in years. Your pie-cake looks great!

    Posted by Mevrouw Cupcake | March 11, 2008, 10:16 am
  5. Happy Johnny Appleseed day to you too! I always loved watching the Walt disney cartoon about him. Love yoru piecake. It looks delicious! Great idea to use cranberries. I thought the crust a tad sticky as well. I served ours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.

    Posted by Marie | March 11, 2008, 10:40 am
  6. I always enjoying reading your stories right before trying to sink my teeth into whatever you made. Lovely!

    Posted by Aran | March 11, 2008, 10:49 am
  7. That looks beautiful! I take apples for granted and never think of Johnny Appleseed! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Joy the Baker | March 11, 2008, 11:05 am
  8. Great job hunting down the Johnny Appleseed story and how appropriate that our March 11th TWD involves apples!! Great job with your pie-cake!

    Posted by smellslikehome | March 11, 2008, 11:05 am
  9. Thanks for the little history lesson – how neat!! Your crust looks like it set up absolutely perfectly – wonderful job :)

    Posted by chelley325 | March 11, 2008, 11:13 am
  10. I always learn something new! Johnny Appleseed and a cake that’s totally different from all apple cakes I baked before.Great work!Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

    Posted by ostwestwind | March 11, 2008, 11:29 am
  11. Thanks for the history lesson!! Nice looking pie-cake!!

    Posted by noskos | March 11, 2008, 11:35 am
  12. What a cowinky dink! Great addition to your post about Johnny Appleseed. Your pie-cake look yummy!-Clarahttp://iheartfood4thought.wordpress.com

    Posted by CB | March 11, 2008, 11:56 am
  13. YUM! that looks so great!

    Posted by Katy | March 11, 2008, 12:07 pm
  14. Yours looks so good! I love how your crust looks. Thanks for sharing the Johnny Appleseed story. This was a good week for this recipe!

    Posted by Erin | March 11, 2008, 12:23 pm
  15. Awesome story, I just love the wiki! And your pie-cake looks perfect too. Great job!

    Posted by slush | March 11, 2008, 12:58 pm
  16. I didn’t know it was Johnny Appleseed Day! This was a great recipe to celebrate that though.

    Posted by Dianne | March 11, 2008, 1:37 pm
  17. This is lovely Gretchen! I marked this recipe when I first got the book and have yet to bake it.

    Posted by MyKitchenInHalfCups | March 11, 2008, 1:57 pm
  18. That looks great! I love apples. Great history on johnny Appleseed!

    Posted by Jessy and her dog Winnie | March 11, 2008, 2:36 pm
  19. Nice little bit of info on Johnny Appleseed!Great pie-cake!

    Posted by Carrie | March 11, 2008, 3:52 pm
  20. this looks *so* good.I need an occasion to make it!

    Posted by Cara | March 11, 2008, 4:09 pm
  21. Thanks for the story on Johnny Appleseed — how appropriate. I’m going to try cranberries next time along with currants. I like those fruits better than raisins except in a few things.

    Posted by Judy | March 11, 2008, 4:18 pm
  22. Never heard of Johnny Appleseed Day before. Thanks for introducing it to me!

    Posted by Claudia | March 11, 2008, 5:42 pm
  23. What a wonderful way to commemorate an American folk hero… AND tie it into TWD. Beautiful job!

    Posted by Dolores | March 11, 2008, 6:35 pm
  24. Great info on Johnny Appleseed!

    Posted by Melissa | March 11, 2008, 8:53 pm
  25. wow, what a huge coincidence that today is johnny appleseed day! your pie-cake looks great!

    Posted by Jaime | March 11, 2008, 11:39 pm
  26. I love the Johnny Appleseed tie in! I can’t believe our posts coinsided so perfectly. I haven’t heard about Johnny Appleseed in years, so it was nice to get an adult version refresher!Your pie-cake looks great

    Posted by Nikki57 | March 11, 2008, 11:59 pm
  27. Yum looks like it turned out really well for you. :) I love that browned crust!

    Posted by eatme_delicious | March 12, 2008, 12:17 am
  28. Gretchen, in a word – YUM.

    Posted by Cakelaw | March 12, 2008, 7:22 am
  29. That was an interesting post..I would forego raisins cos I ain’t a big fan of them….The pie looks lovely

    Posted by Rachel | March 12, 2008, 8:14 am
  30. LT – Perfect day, no? I use lime due to the lack of lemon!Annemarie – Thanks!Amy – You are welcome, and thank you!Mevrouw – Thanks! Me either! Marie – :) Your serving idea sounds fantastic!Aran – Thank you.Joy – Thanks! and you are most welcome!Smells like home – It was a perfect day!Chelley – You are welcome! I would have preferred the crust less cooked, actually.Ostwestwind – Ha! Thanks!Noskos – You are welcome. CB – Thanks!Katy – It was tasty!erin – Thanks! It was a perfect week!Laurie – Yes, me too! thanks!Dianne – Perfect pie-cake celebration!Tanna – Definitely worth a try!JEssy! – Thanks! Hope you try the recipe!Carrie – Thanks!Cara – Do find a reason to make it, so worth trying!Judy – Very appropriate! Cranberries are so much better in my book than raisins!Claudia – Me neither, but I got tipped off and thought it was perfect!Dolores – Thanks so much!Melissa – Thanks!Jaime – Lovely way to celebrate, no?Nikki – It was a perfect day! Thanks!Ashley – Thanks!Cakelaw – :) Try it, you’ll like it!Rachel – Thanks! I am not a raisin fan either!

    Posted by Gretchen Noelle | March 12, 2008, 8:26 am
  31. Yum Yum Yum! Looks delicious! I think I’ll make it this weekend!

    Posted by Tartelette | March 12, 2008, 12:32 pm
  32. thanks for sharing the story! your apple pie-cake looks awesome!

    Posted by Piggy | March 12, 2008, 1:55 pm
  33. Just the phrase “apples are bubbling up through the slits” makes my mouth water! And I never knew that much about Johnny Appleseed….Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by toni | March 12, 2008, 2:35 pm
  34. Gretchen, the tart looks scrumptious. Especially the crust on top. Great way to celebrate pie day!

    Posted by Warda | March 12, 2008, 4:40 pm
  35. I’m loving these little appley, cakey, pie thingies! Apple is one of my very favorite flavors in anything baked. Simply scrumptious looking!

    Posted by kellypea | March 12, 2008, 6:12 pm
  36. There’s a Dorie recipe for every story, looks great!

    Posted by Brilynn | March 12, 2008, 7:57 pm
  37. That looks so absolutely delicious! I love the cranberries in there, it’s a nice colorful touch.

    Posted by LyB | March 12, 2008, 8:41 pm
  38. This looks wonderful! i like the addition of cranberries instead of raisins. I thought of you today, Gretchen! I went to the local Latin market-thay have so many Peruvian things! And not so many Argentinian, but enough. :)

    Posted by Rebecca | March 12, 2008, 10:13 pm
  39. Yum! This looks like the perfect autumn dessert, although I would enjoy it any day of the week!

    Posted by Karen | March 13, 2008, 12:46 am
  40. Tartelette – Hope you do!Piggy – Very welcome! thanks!Toni – Ha! really, I didn’t either. I love learning about history thru food.warda – Thanks! Very delicious too!Kellypea – They are one great pie cake!Brilynn – True, true!LyB – Thanks. Cranberries are tasty!Rebe – Thanks! I love that they have Peruvian things at the market. You will have to let me know what kinds of things are there. How fun!Karen – This certainly will be a great fall dessert. Or breakfast.

    Posted by Gretchen Noelle | March 15, 2008, 8:17 pm

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