I recently procured a bushel of honeycrisp apples. Oh heaven! We mostly have been eating them fresh, but one can only eat so many fresh apples. So I dusted off an old favorite that I haven't made in a few years, and also gave a recipe from Leigh Anne's blog a try. They're quite a bit different from each other, and both quite delicious. This first one came from a Junior League of Denver cookbook I received as a wedding present. I have to confess that when I opened cookbooks in the heap of wedding gifts, I was not very enthusiastic. It took me a few years to fully appreciate what a great gift they were. This Junior League has been the source of some darn good meals over the years, and I wish I could remember who gave it to me so that I could go back and really thank them in earnest. Anyway, I digress. Here you go:
Apple Breakfast Tart (anytime tart, really)
1 ¼ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ t. nutmeg or cinnamon
½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ cup butter, chilled
1 T. milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ t. vanilla
2 large McIntosh, Fuji or Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
½ t. cornstarch
½ t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10 inch tart pan or pie pan. In large bowl, combine the dry crust ingredients. Cut butter into flour mixture until crumbly. In small bowl, beat egg and milk and add to flour mixture. Blend until dough forms a ball and pat dough into prepared pan.
Blend cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar, then add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread evenly over crust. Layer apples over cream cheese mixture in circular pattern, slightly overlapping slices. In small bowl, combine remaining topping ingredients and sprinkle over the apples.
Bake 30 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving. Delicious with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream on the side.
***In the past, I have always made this with nutmeg in the crust. This time I switched it to cinnamon, and really liked it. Both ways are good. I find that this is also best eaten the first or second day. Over time, the crust gets soft. I usually make this in a 10 inch round tart pan, but this time I made it in a recently procured rectangular tart pan. It was so much easier to place the apples and to slice it in that shape. You can also use a springform pan in a pinch.
These puppies are RICH! Leigh Anne's original recipe called for making these in a jelly roll size pan. I put the crust dough down on one of those pans and immediately realized that if I was going to make it stretch all the way across and cover it, I'd have a veeeeeeeery thin crust and I'd be frustrated and angry by the time I finished fussing over it for 15 minutes. So I scooped it back out and used my rectangular tart pan instead, and had lovely thick bars. Next time, I will dice the apples much smaller for easier spreading. The hint of lemon, light and crispy crust, and cinnamon glaze on these is really delicious.
Apple Bars (from Your Home Based Mom)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
Cream fats and sugar. Blend in flour. Pat on bottom of 10x 15 pan (or half that size for thicker bars - see above). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light brown.
2-3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and diced small to equal 2 cups
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. grated lemon peel
1 beaten egg
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Melt butter in saucepan. Blend in brown sugar, apples, lemon peel, beaten egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into apple mixture. Spread evenly over cookie layer and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
2-3 T. milk
Combine in a small bowl and blend until smooth. Glaze top of apple layer while still slightly warm and cut into bars.