This pie brings back many happy memories from my childhood.
My Mom used to make it very, very often because all members of our family loved it.
When I was going to bake it earlier today I took my rings off – as I always do.
And today, while doing so, I remembered my Mom who LOVES her jewelery and takes it off only on very rare occasions.
Baking not being one of them.
I had to laugh out loud when I remembered her carefully cleaning her rings after kneading dough by her hands.
There was especially this ring in the shape of a ball with lots of holes in it so it was always full of a dough and it must have taken a pretty good while to clean.
But still she wore her rings. What a lady!
My Mom is so much fun.
Last time she asked me if I took any drugs.
I replied: “MOM!!! Of course NOT!”
And do you want to know what she said?
Well this is what she said – “I just asked because I have many syringes that someone has given us and I have no clue what to use them for.”
Nevertheless, this is what you need to prepare the lovely Apple-Cinnamon Squares:
4 cups (520 grams) all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons (15 grams) baking powder
1 cup (115 grams) confectioner’s (or powdered or icing) sugar; this is for the dough
1 cup (227 grams) butter, room temperature
8 medium-sized apples
1 1/4 cups (140 grams) confectioner’s (or powdered or icing) sugar; this is for the apple filling
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (or powdered) sugar
1. In a larger bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder.
2. Add the butter.
(You can set aside a little butter to grease a baking pan with.)
3. Add the eggs.
4. By hand, knead the dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.
(If you don’t feel like kneading a dough by your hands today, OK then, you’ll be forgiven. In such a case beat the butter with sugar in your electric mixer. Then add the eggs. And then add the flour mixture gradually.)
5. While the dough is cooling we can prepare our apple filling.
So peel the apples …
… and grate them.
Mix them with the sugar, cinnamon and the vanilla extract.
6. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).
7. Grease a baking pan with the butter (I used a 9×13 inch/22×32 cm pan).
8. Divide the dough into two parts – 2/3 and 1/3 of the dough.
The bigger part is going to be the bottom layer of the pie and the smaller one will be cut out into the star shapes.
Roll out the bigger piece of the dough into approximately the size of the pan bottom.
You can adjust the shape using a knife.
9. Transfer the dough onto the pan.
10. Place the apple filling on top of the dough and even it out with a spoon.
11. Now, roll out the smaller dough to about 1/5 inch (0,5 cm) thickness.
Using the cutter of any shape you like, cut out the shapes.
Re-roll any scraps and cut out more cookies.
12. Place the cut-out shapes on top of the apple layer.
(If, by any accident, you end up cutting out more stars/shapes than you can fit on top of the pie, don’t you worry. Just place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 9 minutes at 350F/175C. You’ll have nice little bonus.)
13. Bake for about 40 minutes rotating the pan halfway through.
14. Put the remaining sugar in a sieve and sprinkle the top.
The trick is that the sugar on apples will melt and lose its whiteness while the sugar on the stars will remain white and shiny.
Don’t you believe it?
I told you so … .
Now cut the pie into squares (one star – one square, easy!).
16. Enjoy dear friends!