Friday, September 14, 2007

ARF / 5-A-Day: Falling With Mom's Harvest Apple Squares

There is a distinct nip in the air these days, and the heat that was blazing down on us a month ago has seemed to disappear. I guess that means soon the leaves will be changing and apples will be ripe for the picking! My mom and I have a great time going up to Natures Bounty Orchards and picking apples for hours. They have all kinds... MacIntosh, IdaRed, the Delicious family, Empires, my personal favourite Spartans, and the perfect pie apple that is the Northern Spy.

Apples are a major Fall crop here in Ontario, where there is even an Applefest held over the Thanksgiving weekend at the villages of The Blue Mountains. Every Fall to my recollection has been graced with the wafting aromas of baking pies, pork roasts, crisps and squares, all featuring the delicious bounty of the new season.

This was one of our Fall dessert favourites here at home when I was growing up. My mom is still famous at our old elementary school for these... my Home Ec teacher would steal them from the bake sale tables! A blend of Northern Spy and MacIntosh apples is great for these crumbly, sweet gems, but if you can't get your hands on the Spy apples, try for a firm, tart apple like a Granny Smith.

My Mom's Apple Squares
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup cold butter or stick margarine (vegan variant if needed)
3 cups thinly sliced apples (see preamble)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine flours through oats in a large bowl.
  3. Cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Add a little apple juice or water if required.
  4. Press 1/2 the crumble into the bottom of a thoroughly greased 9" pan.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
  6. Pour apples over bottom crust and crumble remaining oat mixture overtop evenly. Pat down.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool thoroughly in fridge before cutting and serving.

I discovered recently while browsing Slashfood that this is rather a timely post! Lucky for us apple-lovers, the L.A. Times has a great guide to the myriad of apple varieties out there! Apples are a wonderful source of both vitamins and antioxidants (but of course we ALL knew that!), so I've decided to post this treat in honour of Sweetnick's ARF / 5-A-Day event (#88!). By the way, last week's roundup is posted here, since I was lax in posting that one earlier!

P.S. --> November 1, 2007 is Canadian National Men Make Dinner Day! That means only 47 days left for you guys to get your apron strings tied for your gals (if you have one) and try something new! By the way, making dinner doesn't involve a phone number stuck to the fridge or excessive use of the microwave! Just kidding, guys! I know you can cook with the best of 'em!

3 comments :

Emilie said...

I love anything baked goods with apples in them! There are so many varieties. I would love to do a taste test with them all.

tofufreak said...

oh boy! your harvest apple squares sound perfect for the cooling weather!

Jamie said...

Harvest Apple Squares just scream autumn! They look and sound wonderful. Love this kind of apply treat!