Sunday, September 19, 2010

For the past few weeks in Toronto, the signs for autumn are ever more present as days get shorter, the air becomes cooler, and leafs turn into a kaleidoscope of colours, we were feeling for baking something that represented the tastes, smells, and sights of fall, and what better recipe than one that has apples. So this week we decided to make Apple Crumb Squares, which can be found on Once again any changes that we have made to the recipe are written in italics.
Apple Crumb Squares

Crumb Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (we omitted)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, slightly softened (If you want crumbs like ours, use cold butter)
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter or margarine

Apple Filling
4 pounds green cooking apples such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
4 tablespoon butter or margarine
3/4 cup raisins or dried currants
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  1. Prepare Crumb Topping: In medium bowl, with fingertips, mix all topping ingredients until mixture comes together. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to use later. Our topping was very dry so we couldn't shape into a ball; but it didn't make much difference in the end result.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease sides of 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan.
  3. Prepare Crust: In large bowl, with fork, mix flour, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion (we used our fingertips), blend butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With hand, press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  4. Bake crust 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown (crust may crack slightly).
  5. Meanwhile, prepare Apple Filling: In nonstick 12-inch skillet, cook apples, butter, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are very tender and most liquid from apples evaporates, stirring occasionally. In cup, mix cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir lemon-juice mixture into apple mixture and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Remove skillet from heat.
  6. Spread apple mixture over hot crust. Break Crumb Topping into chunks and scatter over apple mixture. Bake 40 minutes or until topping browns. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. (We baked for only 20 min. because we thought our crust would've  burnt if we'd left longer.)
  7. To serve, cut lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 squares.

Ann's Thoughts

I have to admit that apple baked goods are not my favourite. I absolutely love apples, but I find desserts such as apple pie, apple turn over, apple strudel and the like to be rather slimey in texture, which I don't like. Plus, apples are already sweet so adding more sugar makes them too sweet for me. Even though I have reservations about apple based pastries, I was quite insistant on making something with apples this week, afterall we are approaching fall, it just seemed right. I came upon Apple Crumb Squares on Delish, and Ana, who is pretty much cool with doing any recipe, was cool doing this one.

So how did I find it? They weren't bad at all. The squares weren't too slimey, and because we used Granny Smith apples, the squares turned out to be more sour than sweet. When my mother tried a piece, she enjoyed the sour taste, but Ana did not prefer the sourness, and so the only thing that I can advise is for those of you who want sweeter apple squares use Macintosh or Fuji apples, but I wouldn't use Red Delicious apples-they are not as sweet as the previous two.

This recipe is somewhat time-consuming, so plan about two hours in order to make these squares, however just because it takes a long time, does not mean it's hard to make, because it's not....seriously! So if you have a free evening, take the time to make these bars, and fill your home with the natural fragrance of apple and cinnamon- perfect for this season.

Ana's Thoughts

For Ann's happiness, this week's treat we made apples. =) Nothing more appropriate, since Fall is already on its way. Or is it already here? Can't really tell, but for me the last couple of days seems more like winter o.O I mean, Brazilian winter. Can't wait for Canadian winter. Hurray! Not. haha

Now back to the squares. Although we overbaked the crust (Oops, my bad...), and the crumbs weren't exactly what the recipe said it was supposed to look like, ours turned out pretty tasty. The crust was buttery (in a good way) and crunchy and the crumbs were crispy. Nom nom nom. The filling was a bit sour so perhaps next time we should use Fuji apples or one similar to that.

We got 20 medium-size squares so make sure to invite friends over when you make this. ;)

'Til next week!

Receita em Português
Farofa doce
1 xíc. de farinha de trigo
1 xíc. de pecans ou nozes, picadas (nós não usamos)
1/2 xíc. (115g) de manteiga ou margarina, em temperatura ambiente
1/2 xíc de açúcar mascavo (aperte-o na xícara na hora de medir)
1 colher (sopa) de baunilha
1 colher (chá) de canela em pó

Em uma tigela, com a ponta dos dedos, misture todos os ingredientes até formar uma massa. Faça uma bola, enrole em um plástico e leve para gelar. Reserve. (A nossa massa ficou parecida com uma farofa mesmo, então não conseguimos formar uma bola. Mas não fez diferença nenhuma no produto final.)

3 xícs. de farinha
1/3 xíc. de açúcar
3/4 xíc. (170g) de manteiga ou margarina, gelada

Pré-aqueça o forno a 190ºC. Use uma forma retangular com beiradas rasas.
Junte todos os ingredientes em uma tigela e misture com a ponta dos dedos até formar uma farofa úmida. Aperte na forma e leve para assar por 20-24 minutos ou até dourar. (Ela vai rachar um pouco.)

Recheio de maçã
1,8 kg de maçã Granny Smith, sem casca, sem sementes e cortadas em cubos de 1cm  (Substitua por Fuji se preferir um recheio mais doce.)
4 col. (sopa) de manteiga ou margarina
3/4 xíc. de uvas passas
1/2 xíc. de açúcar mascavo (Aperte-o na xícara na hora de medir)
3/4 col. (chá) de canela em pó
1 col. (sopa) + 2 col.(chá) de amido de milho
3 col. (sopa) de suco de limão

Enquanto a base estiver assando, faça o recheio. Coloque todos os ingredientes, menos o amido e o suco de limão, numa panela e cozinhe, mexendo de vez em quando, por 20-30 minutos ou até que as maçãs estejam macias e quase toda a água das maçãs tenha evaporado.
Em um copo, misture o amido de milho e o suco de limão e junte às maçãs. Misture até engrossar. Retire do fogo.
Despeje as maçãs sobre a base ainda quente. Espalhe a farofa por cima e leve ao forno por 40 minutos ou até dourar. (Nós deixamos somente por 20 min.)


  1. oh well it's almost 12pm and all i can say is i'm hungry! i knew i should've checked this week recipe out after lunch >< now i'm even more hungry. nham nham *_*

  2. I understand why Emily is living with you, Juliana! So she can have aaall those good-looking delicacies!

    By the way, Saturday I bought cupcakes in Shopping Paulista. Nutella and Blueberry omnomnom. (6 reals each... the ones in Magnolia Bakery were cheaper!!) It seems that it's getting popular lately, I even saw some recipe books in the show window of a big bookstore

  3. @Renata>> I'm "hungrier" than you. hohoho

    @Kenji>>What!?! 6 reals each??are you kidding me?
    It was made of gold or somethin'?haahhahahah
    Yeah, it's getting very popular. Everywhere. Don't know if it's good or bad. haha

    Thanks for stopping by,guys! ;)

  4. I can personally vouch for these squares. They were totally delicious! Thanks again to you both for sharing :)

    Shelly, I'm actually in the same boat. I'm not too crazy about apple filled pastries; baked apples are too soft and it's natural sweetness is changed. But I have to say I did enjoyed the squares. I think it was a combination of the Granny Smith, and the nicely done crumb topping.

    Julianna, I think you'll find out very soon that Canadian winters can be very interesting ;)

  5. Hey Nelson!
    Thanks for stopping by. =)

    I'm happy to hear that you liked them.

    I'm sure canadian winter will be very interesting.
    i hope not to get frozen. haahha

  6. See, I told you, no.. YOU told me it was more hungry..haha =P

  7. I still don't know which one is the correct one.....I'll ask Shelly. hahahah