Croatian Lazy Apple Pie (Lijena Pita s Jabukama)
This apple pie is an absolute autumn delight. There are tons of apples all around Croatia during October, and even into November, you can find great fresh apples. Therefore, a Croatian apple pie has to be one of the most common autumn desserts in Croatia’s central and eastern parts.
I remember how my grandma used to make this pie on an almost weekly basis because, for her, it was one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest desserts to make.
Almost every house in the Croatian countryside has a few apple trees (or know someone who does and has extra to share!). Those apples have the most fabulous taste; they don’t get any kind of chemical treatment, which means the apples from these trees do not have pretty-perfect-looking skins, like all those picture-perfect apples you’ll find in your local supermarket.
There are also a few varieties of this Croatian apple pie: some people make it with a thin layer of cottage cheese or even a thin layer of shredded walnuts. Anyhow, you are going to love my one, I promise!
So, you’re probably wondering why I call this a “lazy pie”? Well, although I think it is understandable when you read the recipe, it’s because you only have 2-3 things to do before this apple pie is ready to eat! Make the dough, shred the apples and bake it. Everything is done and cooked in 45 mins and is ready to eat in a little more than an hour.
Right, let’s bake!
This Croatian apple pie is a true autumn delight. I've called this lijena pita s jabukama, as you have three steps to make it - and it's ready to eat in an hour!
- 450 g all-purpose flour (3.5 cups)
- 200 g softened butter (14 tablespoons)
- 5 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 packet (or rounded tablespoon) baking powder
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 kg apples, washed, peeled and grated (35 oz)
- Pinch of cinnamon
For The Apples
- 2-3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Mix the dry ingredients and then add the eggs, butter and lemon zest
- Knead into a soft dough and cut it in two same-sized pieces. Wrap them in a plastic foil and put them in the fridge for half an hour
- Wash the apples and grate them. Cover them with few spoons of sugar
- Roll out one piece of dough (1 cm/0.3 inch) and place it into a greased baking tray
- Squeeze out the excess water from the apples. This is important, as squeezing out the apples is needed just so that the bottom dough layer doesn’t get soggy
- Cover the dough with all of the shredded (and squeezed) apples. Level out the apples so they cover the entire tray
- Roll out the second piece of dough the same as the first, and place over the apples
- Use a fork and poke some holes into the top layer of dough – this creates a space for air so that the dough doesn’t break
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C/350°F) for around 35 minutes or until golden brown
- Let it cool for 20-30 minutes and dust with powdered sugar