17.7.14

APPLE WALNUT SQUARES - ALMÁS DIÓS PITE


I made these slices last fall when our apple tree was loaded with fresh apples, the crows ate well, and the windfalls were enjoyed by myriad of creatures that thrive in a productive garden. When I venture down I love the insect buzz, they fly, crawl and jump around like acrobats. Mosquitoes are a different story they love ME! I will never be a gardener.

This Apple Walnut Slice is simply a variation of the classic Apple Squares. You may replace the walnuts with some equally strong flavoured nuts, excluding almonds of course. Almonds would be overpowered by the apple flavour, rendering the addition of nuts unnecessary. Someone once called me a keeper of flavours and for sure I am very much dedicated to the wonderful flavours of my childhood. I am convinced that walnuts are essential ingredients of the Hungarian kitchen. I made a Somlói Galuska with pecans once; it was nice, but not nearly as nice as it would have been with walnuts.



Apple Walnut Squares


Pastry:
3-3/4 cups flour 
3/4 cup butter, soft
2/3 cup sugar
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg

Apple Filling:
6 apples
2 Tbsp sugar
juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup ground walnuts

For Assembling The Squares:
2 handfuls of fine breadcrumb
1 egg, lightly beaten

• Rub the butter into the flour, dispersing it throughout.
• Add the sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, baking powder and finely grated rind of half a lemon.
• Whisk them together to combine.
• In a small bowl combine the sour cream and the egg with a fork.
• Add to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
• Kneed the dough for a couple of minutes and then wrap it up with plastic wrap.
• Place in the fridge.
• Meanwhile prepare the apple filling.
• Wash and peel the apples.
• If using windfalls, cut out the centers and all the blemished parts. You may have to cut the apples into pieces to do this. Grate the healthy apple chunks into a large bowl.
• If using healthy apples, grate them until reaching the cores. Discard the cores.
• By now there is a pool of apple juice in the bottom of the bowl.
• Transfer the grated apple into a large [fine] sieve.
• Take a handful of grated apples and squeeze out the juice and place the squeezed out grated apple into a clean bowl. Save the apple juice and use it for some other purpose.*
• Add the sugar, lemon rinds and the fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.
• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Cut two pieces of parchment about the size of a 13X4 inch baking pan.
• Place both piece of parchment paper on the board.
• Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into two equal pieces.
• Place a piece of dough on both parchment papers.
• Press them into rectangles.
• Sprinkle the top with flour and roll out both pieces of dough to fit the parchment papers. • You may have to cut away bits of dough and add to other parts to fit the parchment papers.
• Grasping the parchment, move one of the rolled dough and place it into the baking pan. [with the parchment paper on the bottom.]
• Poke the pastry with a fork at intervals.
• Now lightly scatter 2 handfuls of fine breadcrumbs on the top. 
•Next scatter half the ground walnuts on the top
• Scatter the prepared apple-walnut filling over the ground walnuts. 
• Top with the remaining ground walnuts.
• Grasping the parchment, take the second rolled out pastry and place it on the top of the apple-walnut filling, but this time with the parchment on the top. Remove the parchment paper and discard.
• With a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg yolk onto the top. [there will be considerable leftover egg]
• Poke the top with a fork and place in the preheated oven.
• Bake until top is golden brown.
• Yields 24 squares  






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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!