I’ve decided that I’m just going to start where I left off. And that’s with these autumn apple cheddar squares.
I made them in September when people were driving to the country to pick apples on Sunday afternoons, kids were back in school, and us mom’s were trying to come up with new lunch box or after-school snack ideas.
These squares remind me of something my mom used to make … date squares. Remember those? But instead of dates, the filling is made with apples, a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar and some old cheddar cheese.Yes that’s right. Cheddar. As in orange cheese.
Growing up, I remember seeing apple pie served with slices of cheddar cheese and often wondering just what the cheese doing there because, after-all, pie was dessert and well, cheese just wasn’t.
Well, now that I’ve tried these squares, I know that apples, cinnamon and cheese belong together.
Cheddar Apple Squares
Adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks: The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book
Makes 20 squares
4 apples of your choice (Crispin or Golden Delicious are recommended)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cheddar Crust and Crumble
11/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup shredded extra-old Cheddar cheese
1. Grease or line a 9-inch square metal or glass cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Cheddar Crust Crumble
2. In a bowl, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar and salt. With a fork, stir in butter until mixture clumps and is crumbly. Add cheese, tossing to mix. Press all but 1 cup evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in centre of a 350 degree oven until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
3. Meanwhile, peel, core and cut apples into 1/2-inch thick slices. In a skillet or shallow saucepan, bring the apples, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon to a boil, adding up to 1/4 cup of water if the apples stick to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
4. Spread apple mixture over the base; sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake in centre of 350 degree oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.
5. Cut into squares.
These squares can be made-ahead wrapped well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.