Friday, September 3, 2010

Apple & Oat Squares


Apple & oat squares drizzled with...you guessed it, salted caramel sauce.  

More flavors of fall!  Thankfully it's right around the corner.  I need some relief, it's been in the 90's all week.  And as I've said before, the fall is my very favorite time of year!  Beautiful weather, rich colors, holiday cheer, and pumpkin spice coffee, what's not to like?!  

I combined my favorite apple filling with a brown sugar/oat crust, added a little salted caramel and ended up with what tasted like the perfect bite of an apple crumb pie. Why not just go for the whole pie?  Well, the squares are just so much easier for little fingers to handle, and I have a bunch of those around here.  They were delicious right from the fridge, but I can just imagine a warm apple square with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, mmmmm!                                                                                                                                                         
I toyed with the thought of baking the crust for a few minutes before adding the filling. Since the apples are partially cooked on the stove top and wouldn't need as long in the oven, this might have worked, resulting in a crispier crust.  But, in fear of drying it out (the original recipe for this particular crust doesn't include double baking like some of the others I use) I opted to forgo the pre-baking.  I am thrilled with the result, but I have to admit, I'm still a bit curious.



Timesaving Tips: Peel and slice the apples ahead of time, spritz them with some lemon juice, and refrigerate in an airtight container.  Having some Salted Caramel Sauce on hand doesn't hurt either.  With so many uses, why shouldn't it be a household staple?





Just a quick note...while having seconds (take this into account while reading on), my dad got a bite that was heavily drizzled with caramel and thought it was a bit sweet (I hear that a lot when I bake, hmmm?).  So drizzle to taste, go heavy, go light, or skip it all together.  When it comes to baking, don't be afraid to mix it up a little. Part of the fun is making it your own!

Apple & Oat Squares

Filling:
3 or 4 Granny Smith apples (approx 6 cups) thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purposeflour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter


Peel and slice apples.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix.  Add vanilla and cream.  Melt butter in heavy skillet.  Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8-10 minutes, to soften apples. 

Crust and Topping:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup unsalted butter

Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter, combine with pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of mixture for crumb topping.  Press remaining mixture into greased 9 x 12 pan.  Spread with apple mixture and top with remaining crumb mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 mins or until crumb topping is golden.  Drizzle with Salted Caramel Sauce to taste.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I tweeked the recipe so Andrew and I could eat it and it was so good! It is so nice to have some sweets back in our life :)

    ReplyDelete

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