Monday, October 17, 2016

Custardy Apple Squares

This is a recipe I have been meaning to try. I needed something I could whip up quickly after a hectic week and knew that this was a recipe Dorie Greenspan keeps on hand for last-minute guests, somewhat of a pantry dish. (I think I see it most often posted on Dorie's own Instagram feed!)

The recipe can be found in Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere by Dorie Greenspan. I recommend all of her baking cookbooks; they are staples in my house. This one I snagged one day when it was a Kindle deal, and while I'm still not a huge fan of eCookbooks, this one seems to have a lot of good stuff to try.

The only change I made to the recipe was to bake it in a narrower dish than specified. She says 8" square pan, but only had a 9" square pan, and had read that it was "awfully shallow." I used a pan that is probably 8"x6" and still felt it was a bit shallow. But definitely tasty. The proportions are almost the same as an oven pancake, only with less milk and less butter. The apples, when sliced thinly, settle into lovely layers on their own. I baked mine for 40 of the recommended 40-50 minutes and it was browning around the edges. I'd like to try this again with some of her ideas - adding some kind of liqueur to the batter might be nice!

Custardy Apple Squares
(seriously, buy Dorie's books.... this recipe comes from her, although I've rewritten the instructions a bit)

3 medium juicy, sweet apples, such as Gala or Fuji, peeled
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp whole milk, room temperature
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs, sugar and salt together for about 2 minutes, until the sugar just about dissolves and the eggs are pale. Whisk in the vanilla, followed by the milk and melted butter. Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and stir with the whisk until the batter is smooth.

Peel and slice the apples thinly (she recommends tools, I just used a knife!). Add the apples to the batter and fold gently, until every thin slice is coated. Scrape into the pan and smooth until reasonable.

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown, uniformly puffed - make sure the middle of the cake has risen - and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Cut the cake into squares and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.

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