Friday, April 6, 2018

A Simple Dessert to put a "Spring" in Your Step

Yes, springtime is here, and just in time, a delicious dessert that screams the season. And, more good news, this dessert proposed by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan doesn't get any simpler to make!  Dorie, who's out with her 11th cookbook, Baking Chez Moi told Tonia's Kitchen about her delicious, French-inspired Custardy Apple Squares.  The way it works is easy, as Dorie told Tonia she takes apples, flour, sugar, eggs and milk that's all blended in a bowl (no mixer required).  She takes chopped apples, places them in a buttered pan, pours the batter over them, and bakes it altogether.  When done, she cuts it into squares and serves at room temperature.  It's a dessert, or a snack that's great for a cold day.

3 medium juicy, sweet apples, such as Gala or Fuji, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (68 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce; 28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • 1.
    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.
  • 2.
    Slice the apples using a mandoline, Benriner or a sharp knife, turning the fruit as you reach the core. The slices should be about 1/16 th inch thick— elegantly thin, but not so thin that they’re transparent and fragile. Discard the cores.
  • 3.
    Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
  • 4.
    Working in a large bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs, sugar and salt together for about 2 minutes, until the sugar just about dissolves and, more important, the eggs are pale. Whisk in the vanilla, followed by the milk and melted butter. Turn the flour into the bowl and stir with the whisk until the batter is smooth. Add the apples, switch to a flexible spatula and gently fold the apples into the batter, turning everything around until each thin slice is coated in batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top as evenly as you can—it will be bumpy; that’s its nature.
  • 5.
    Bake for 40 to 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.
  • 6.
    Using a long knife, cut the cake into 8 squares (or as many rectangles as you’d like) in the pan (being careful not to damage the pan), or unmold the cake onto a rack, flip it onto a plate and cut into squares. Either way, give the squares a dusting of confectioners’ sugar before serving, if you’d like.