Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mom's Apple Squares: For pie fraidy-cats like me!

I have a confession to make: I’ve always been terrified to make a pastry pie crust.
   Graham cracker or Oreo crusts, no problem – but anything in the realm of crusts used for many fruit pies scares the heck out of me.
   Although I was taught early on in life to tackle problems head-on, I’ve happily stuck my head in the sand when it comes to pastry pie crusts.
   However, last fall I came across a recipe with a pastry-like crust that I thought I could tackle: Mom's Apple Squares from Eating Well magazine.
   Not a pie, but squares – sliced cinnamon apples are baked between two pastry layers and cut. I also liked the idea of being able to use whole wheat flour in the crust.
   I tried the recipe, and it turned out extremely well – the squares were flaky and full of apple flavor.
   My husband and my father absolutely loved them.
   It’s a bit labor intensive, but not difficult.
   Whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking powder are mixed together. Pieces of cold unsalted butter are rubbed into flour mixture, and canola oil added and tossed.
   Ice water and an egg yolk are added to the flour mixture, and stirred until a dough starts to come together. The dough is kneaded until it forms a ball, divided in half and refrigerated for at least an hour.
   The dough portions are rolled out between parchment or wax paper. A mixture of apples, sugar and cinnamon is spread on one half, with the other dough half placed on top.
   An egg white is brushed over the crust, and sugar sprinkled over if desired.
   Bake, then let cool for at least an hour.
   Serve Mom’s Apple Squares to pie lovers – they’ll be happy!

Another great fall dessert: Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars

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