In the 1970s, Better Homes and Gardens published a series of cookbooks. In hardcover, the book titles included "Salads," "Cooking for Two," "Meals on a Budget," and "Homemade Cookies." My mother and my aunt had a lot of those books and I loved looking through them. When I married, I collected a few of my own, which I still have, including the last one listed, from which this recipe is taken.
I noted that I first made the recipe on April 9, 1980, and put a star beside it. I'd give it the same rating today, especially with the changes I've made. The pastry is flaky and crisp, the apple filling not too sweet, and the drizzled icing adds the last layer of flavor. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee for dessert. Some like it with ice cream, I prefer it plain.
Regarding what kind of apples to use - I tend to use whatever is in the fridge. Granny Smiths are good and tart. Today I used a couple of small apples scavenged from an abandoned tree, plus some organic Honey Crisp apples from the store.
Apple Pastry Squares
For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, separated
about 2/3 cup milk
In a food processor, combine the salt and flour. Cut the butter into chunks, place on top of the flour and pulse until fine crumbs form. Place the egg yolk in a measuring cup and add milk to make 3/4 cup. Whisk slightly, pour over the flour/butter mixture and pulse just until the dough comes together. Wrap in waxed paper and chill about 10 minutes.
1 cup granola (or Corn Flakes)
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Divide dough in half. Cut a sheet of parchment paper that will fit into a 15.5 x 10.5 x 1 inch baking sheet with some overlap. On the paper, roll one half of the dough into a rectangle, about 15 x 10 inches. The dough is quite soft and fragile, but mends easily. Add flour to the surface as needed to prevent sticking. Lift the parchment paper and dough and place into the baking pan.
Sprinkle the granola over the pastry in the pan, leaving about 1/2 inch free around the edges. Top with the apple slices. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.
Roll the remaining pastry and place over the apples. Seal the edges. Cut small slits in the top of the pastry. Beat the egg white until frothy, brush over the pastry top. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. The pastry will be golden brown and the apples tender.
1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
While the pastry is still warm, drizzle the glaze over top.