Ukrainian Apple Squares

Ukrainian apple squares are traditionally made around the holidays to make use of stored apples that have become too soft for eating. Since apples are available at the markets virtually year round in the US, this European pastry can be made and enjoyed any time.

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup dates or golden raisins, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar (optional)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

Mix the diced apples with the dates (or raisins), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon.

Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder together in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter. The resulting mixture should look like small peas.

Whisk together sour cream, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly incorporated.

Spread roughly half the pastry dough in the bottom of your greased baking pan. Bake the bottom pastry in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the oven.

Spread the apple mixture over the bottom crust. Spread the rest of the pastry dough over the apples, making sure to cover them entirely.

Put the baking pan back in the oven and cook at 350°F for another 30 to 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown around the edges.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

YIELD: 16 squares.

SOURCE: Recipe adapted from Ukrainian Traditional Cuisine.

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