Danish Apple Bars

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Taylor and I have been married five years this week. We’ve shared loads of laughs, tears, jokes, fights and memories in that amount of time. We’ve grown together and apart. Been blessed and have struggled. And we’ve changed and grown immensely. I’m constantly reminded how lucky I am and especially lately, how much I love that boy.

Five years ago this week, I not only married that tall, dark and handsome boy; I married into a wonderful family. A family with a beautiful history and exceptional people. Wise people. Kind people. People who show up to help you move, help you dig up your backyard and teach you how to fish. People who love and take care of each other. And people who work hard to preserve the beauty of family traditions.

One evening this week, I was lucky enough to play in the kitchen with my aunt and grandma-in-law as they prepared this family favorite. They’re working on collecting some of the classic family recipes in photos and words. I watched carefully as practiced hands peeled a dozen apples as they had done hundreds of times before. I smiled as those beautiful women bantered over how each of them varies the recipe at home. I listened as they updated each other on happenings in the community. I snapped photos of their graceful movements, trying to capture the feeling of warmth and fellowship happening in the dim kitchen.

The evening was short and sweet. The treats were made. The photos were taken. The recipe was preserved. I didn’t copy down the exact recipe, as I prefer to use butter in pastry crust rather than shortening, but the one below is almost identical. The minute I walked in the door and handed one of these bars to my husband, his face lit up. “This is a classic!” he said. Mission accomplished.

Danish Apple Bars
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 cup cornflakes cereal
  • 10 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a cup, beat egg yolk, stir the cold water into the yolk. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until dough can be packed into a ball. On a clean dry surface, roll out 1/2 of the dough large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch pan. Lay the dough in the pan.
  3. Place the cornflakes over the dough in the pan. Arrange apple slices over the top of the corn flake layer. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Roll out the second half of the dough to cover the entire pan. Lay over the filling and pinch the edges of the two crusts together. Beat the egg white until foamy, and brush onto the top crust.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Drizzle with glaze while still warm.
  5. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar with the milk and almond extract until smooth.

 

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