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Cherry Apple Bars

Submitted by: absinthe on January 9, 2012
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5
Cherry Apple Bars

My neighbor gifted me with a plate of these for Christmas, along with a handwritten recipe card. (Thanks, Georgann!) I love the almond flavor mixed with apples and bursts of tart cherry.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings: 24 squares

Prep Time: 1 hour to rest the dough and prepare the filling   Cook Time: 10 minutes at 400 degrees, 40 - 45 minutes at 350 degrees  


For the dough:
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cold shortening, cut into lumps
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into lumps

For the filling:
1 cup dried cherries
5 tsp water
6 tart apples (granny smith or braeburn are nice)cored and sliced thinly.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon or to taste
generous pinch of salt
4 ounces of almond paste, cut into little 1/4 inch bits (don’t use marzipan, it’s too sweet for this recipe)

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 Tb or more whole milk, add and beat until you get a pourable glaze.


For the dough:
Whisk egg yolks and milk together. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add the shortening and process it until it looks like coarse meal. Add the butter cubes and process again for about 10 pulses until it looks like cottage cheese curd. It’s ok if there’s still some bits of unincorporated butter. Pour the mix in a big bowl and add the milk/egg mix a little at a time, mixing well, until the dough comes together but is not wet. You may not use all the milk mix. Divide the dough into two, wrap each part in plastic wrap and form into a disk and let rest in the fridge at least one hour.

For the filling:
Mix the cherries and water in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave for one minute. Let the cherries rest for at least 10 minutes to rehydrate. Combine the cherries and water, apples, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and let macerate. Note: I start the cherries in the microwave at the same time I put the disks of dough in the fridge, let them sit a half hour, then prepare the apple filling. About the time the filling is done sweating, the dough is rested enough for assembly.

To assemble:
Pull the dough from the fridge and let warm up about 10 minutes. Lightly grease a 19×13 jelly roll pan. Cut two sheets of parchment paper a little bigger than your pan, put the ball of dough on it and top with the other parchment. Roll out your dough until it is 19×13. The dough will be very thin. Gently pull off the top parchment sheet. Put the dough, parchment side up, in the jelly roll pan (the one with a raised rim) and gently remove the remaining sheet. Save the parchment papers, you’ll use them again. The dough may tear but you can mend it with bits of remaining dough. Mold the dough up the sides of the pan. Dot the dough with the almond paste. I like to break up the squares with my fingers a bit. Drain the cherry apple mix in a colander, then spread over the dough evenly. Roll out the remaining ball of dough, remove the top sheet, flop it gently dough side down onto the filling and remove the remaining parchment paper. I don’t worry too much if it tears when I pull off the paper. Just cover the filling as best you can. Call it rustic! Roll the edges of the bottom dough over the top to seal. Brush with the reserved egg whites, put in the lower middle position of your oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. If your oven doesn’t cook evenly you may need to rotate the pan half way through the cooking. Let the bars cool in the pan.

For the glaze:
Mix the sifted confectioner’s sugar, milk and almond extract together, then drizzle over the barely warm bars. Cut into generous squares and enjoy!

Categories: Cookies & Bars, Desserts, Pastries, Potluck

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