Wednesday, November 3, 2010

... Also known as those "f*!@ing" apple pie bars

I'll let you in on a little secret ... there are times when not all goes well in ShelleyBakes land.  Usually, the "not so good" things are when I try out a new recipe and it isn't what I expect it to be.  And yes, there are occasions where I burn things.  Or drop things.  Or the pictures don't turn out.

And then there are those times when things just simply do not want to work out.  And this, my friends, was one of those times.  Here's a bit of back story on this particular recipe ... this dessert is hands down one of the best things that my mom made during my childhood - apple pie in flaky pastry bar form with powdered sugar frosting drizzled on top.  This recipe is my BIRTHRIGHT, shouldn't be a problem to recreate it in my kitchen, should it?

One word for that misconception: Whatever.  After struggling for 45 minutes to get the bottom crust of the bars to roll out properly, I sent a profane text to my mom.  I believe it said: "I HATE these f*cking apple pie bars!!!!"  And then my mom called me.  Laughing.

"Oh honey, I forgot to tell you what a pain in the ass those are."


Regardless of my failure to properly execute this dish (the bottom crust - laughable, then I forgot the layer of crushed cornflakes and then I couldn't get the top crust to roll out at ALL, so I got pissed off and started flinging bits of pastry on top of the bars), I have to admit ... it still tasted really good.  Good enough that they were inhaled within a half hour of my bringing them into work.

If you are brave and noble with a rolling pin, try these if you dare.  I will begrudgingly admit that they are worth it and that I will make these annually until I master these bastards.

This is one section that actually got a covering of dough! 

Danish Pastry Apple Pie Bars

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening (**note from my mama ... use lard.  Don't be afraid of it, do not substitute Crisco.  Otherwise, these will not reach the flaky consistency that will forever adhere to your thighs.)
1 egg yolk (note: Save the white!)
1 c. crushed cornflakes (**note from me ... if you forget, it's OK.  The bottom crust will just get a little soggy from the apple-y goodness that's to come)
8-10 Macintosh apples (pared and thinly sliced)
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Here's the shortcut that I took with the crust ... I blitzed it together using my food processor.  Those ingredients are the flour, salt and shortening.  After that was put together, I kept my processor running and I added this mixture:  one egg yolk and enough milk to make 2/3 of a cup of liquid. 

On a (heavily) floured surface, take half of the dough (**) and roll to 17 x 12 inches and put into and up the sides of a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with cornflakes.

In another bowl, slice up the apples and then coat with the sugar/cinnamon mixture until well incorporated.  Put into prepared pan and roll out the remainder of the dough to place on the top.  Beat the egg white a little and brush over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  The drizzle with some powdered sugar frosting.  (I don't really have a recipe for this - I just take powdered sugar, enough milk to make it runny and some vanilla for flavoring ...)

And on the left hand side, you can see where I got pissed off and just started flinging dough to cover the fracking pan.
** Something that you will figure out during the course of the epic struggle known as rolling out this fracking pastry dough is this:  The dough that's produced is really, really sticky.  At first I thought that I had done something wrong (not enough flour?) and then I was worried that my dough wouldn't be crumbly and pliable because it took an epic amount of flour to get it from sticking to my counter and rolling pin.  But during my therapy session with my mama, she told me that it does take an inordinate amount of flour to get the dough to roll out.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Worth trying someday....sounds yummy. I'd eat them in a second!