Monday, September 28, 2009
Apple Slice - Blue Monday
Mt. Rainier as seen from Orcas Island in the San Juan archipelago.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is such a simple, old-fashioned pastry that I was hesitant to post it. I finally decided it was just too good not to share. Apple Slice was a feature in the bakeries and Mom and Pop groceries of my childhood. The folks who owned those shops often lived in the back of the stores with only a curtain separating their homes from their work places. You could buy a homemade Apple Slice in almost any store and there was very little difference in how it was prepared. It was usually smothered by a glaze of powdered sugar so sweet it hurt the teeth. Children, of course, loved it. Times and people changed and I had all but forgotten about Apple Slice until it was pulled from the recesses of memory when I had a piece on a ferry heading to Orcas Island a few years ago. The orchards of Oregon and Washington provide an abundance of apples and pears, so it's not surprising that some of the old desserts, still served in farm communities, are making their way back to the cities. I'm guessing Apple Slice came to this country with Scandinavian immigrants, but because it was easy and inexpensive to prepare it quickly spread from one home to the next. There are a couple of hints I want to share with those of you who are tempted to try this. The apples must be cut in paper thin slices for this to work. Most recipes that I've been able to find for this instruct you to roll the dough like a pie crust. Good luck with that. It doesn't work for me. I separate the dough into two portions and pat it into place. I've also tossed the glaze. The whole purpose of the slice is its wonderful apple flavor. I think the glaze overwhelms it, so I use a light sprinkle of confectioners' sugar instead. This is a dessert that is best served warm. One of its beauties is that it can be assembled in the morning and baked while you're having dinner. I must warn you that this addicting. I only make this when I have a houseful of people because I could eat the entire pan myself. Here's the recipe.
Apple Slice...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperatue
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large apple, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease the paper. Set aside.
2) Place flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Whisk to combine
3) In a separate bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and stir just until blended.
4) Pat half of dough into prepared pan. Spread dough with thinly sliced apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Cover apples with remaining dough, patting it into place.
5) Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out dry. Cool. Turn out from pan onto a dessert plate. Remove paper. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 6-8 servings.
This post is being linked to Smiling Sally - Blue Monday