A trip to the apple orchard this past week end proved to be most enjoyable and educational since I was introduced to a variety of apple that I had never tasted before nor even heard of.
It was great to see so many come out with their small children and experience the most beautiful sight of fruit laden apple trees. Hopefully, this sight will confirm the fact to these children that that apples don't grow on grocery displays.
In the past it was common to see bus loads of children taking trips to the apple orchard, unfortunately this event seems to be on the decline.
At first I was a little disappointed to find out that the season was over for the Macintosh, my favourite apple. In my last post I commented on what I thought was the perfect combination of Macintosh and Granny Smith for apple pies and was hoping to pick some.
The Spencer variety however may quickly become the "apple of my eye” and take the place of the Macintosh. I don’t recall coming across this variety in any grocery store I frequent but will definitely be on the look out for them in the future.
One bite from this apple was all it took. It was sweet and juicy and the taste reminded me of a Macintosh but unlike the Macintosh was firm and definitely crisper.
A little research revealed the Spencer variety to be a cross between a Macintosh and a Golden Delicious. No wonder I found it to be so good!
I tried a combination of Spencer and Cortland apples for our Thanksgiving Apple Pie and it was extra good! Apparently, the Cortland variety is also an offspring of the Macintosh.
It’s also good to know that the Cortland as well as the Spencer do well in fruit salads and fruit platters since they don’t brown too quickly when cut and exposed to the air. I will have to try using these apples for Apple Crisp before they’re all gone.
Apple Rolled Oat Squares are a “portable” apple crisp. Except for the small amount of baking soda in the recipe, all the other ingredients are the same as for a traditional Apple Crisp.
I’ve always used Macintosh apples in these squares but the Spencer is a great substitute.
This dessert has been a favourite lunch bag treat for many years!
Apple Rolled Oat Squares
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt
1cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
¾ cups butter or hard margarine
2 large apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- Sift flour, soda and salt into a bowl, mix in brown sugar and oats.
- Using a pastry blender, blend butter in until mixture is crumbly.
- Press half the mixture into bottom of a well greased 9x9 inch square pan.
- Combine filling ingredients and toss to coat apple slices evenly.
- Spread apples over base and sprinkle remaining crumbs over the apples evenly.
- Press down gently.
- Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until top is golden and apples are tender.
- Cool in pan on a cooling rack and cut into squares, store in airtight container.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- If using these squares as an addition to a cookie tray, a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar on top dresses them up for the occasion.
- These squares actually taste better when eaten the day after they are made and can also be frozen successfully.
- Mix a batch of these ingredients when you have a few spare minutes, place into a zip lock bag and refrigerate. When you're ready to make the squares you only have to prepare the apples, assemble and bake. This idea works for Apple Crisp topping as well.