I have to say that fall is my favorite season. The changing leaves, the cooler weather and, of course, the commencement of the baking season, all combine to make me really happy. Bring on the sugar—Cathy is ready to bake!
Minnesota in the fall is all about the apples and a few of the very best have been invented here. One very nice apple is the Haralson. This crisp, juicy and tart apple was introduced to the world in 1922 at the University of Minnesota and has long been the gold standard for apple pies in Minnesota. In the early 1990’s, the Honeycrisp was introduced, also produced by the University. Unbelievably crisp, the flavor is tart and sweet at the same time and they have a long shelf life. They are truly amazing. Then sometime during the last few years, the University came out with another wonderfully crisp and tasty apple called the Zestar. This one is also tart/sweet and has brown sugar overtones. Yeah—I must make something with apples….
Now my husband, Pete, had a hankering for some homemade apple pie slices, which, basically, is apple pie in a bar form. What better way to enjoy pie than to eat it with your hands, right? So I commenced to finding the right recipe.
When I posted the Chicken and Sliders recipe, my BakeSpace friend, Patti T indicated that she also made them, but they were called “pot pie, slippery pot pie or even Bott Boi”. Surely, it was just the name that was French Canadian, because different versions of the same thing were being made all over the place! The same thing is true for apple pie slices. I found recipes for Danish Pastry Apple Bars, slab pie, apple squares, and apple pie bars, to name just a few. Heck, I was going to have to do what I always do: wing it! So, here is the recipe that I put together:
Cathy’s Apple Pie Slices
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup cold milk
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups frosted cornflakes
8 tart baking apples (I used a combination of HoneyCrisp and Zestar), cored, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 ° F; grease and flour a 9 X 13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. With a fork, cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Beat the egg yolk into the cold milk and slowly add it to the flour mixture, stirring it together until it forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead a little more flour into it if it is too sticky (avoid handling it too much, or the crust will be tough). Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle a little flour on a piece of parchment paper or a silpat and roll out one half of the dough into a large enough rectangle to cover the bottom and sides of the 9 X 13 inch pan. Turn the dough into the pan and gently press it into place.
Beat the egg white until it is slightly frothy. Brush the bottom and sides of the dough lightly with the egg white and reserve the rest for later. Sprinkle the frosted cornflakes evenly over the dough. Arrange the apple slices over the cornflakes.
In a small bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples; dot with the butter pieces.
Roll out the remaining dough and place over the top of the apples. Pinch all of the sides to seal and cut a few lines on the top to vent. Brush some of the remaining egg white over the top of the dough.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk and almond extract. Drizzle over the warm pie.
Happy apple eating!