This recipe makes a great standby cake to cut up into handy squares, but its taste will ensure it isn't eaten only out of need or convenience.
Serving opportunities readily come to mind — you could pack a piece or two in a school lunch box, take the whole cake along as an offering for someone else's buffet spread, include it on a picnic or tailgating hamper, offer a square with a late-evening cup of tea or hot chocolate.
Or just leave it on the counter. Those who try it will have motive to cut and enjoy another piece — especially if they were out on the apple-picking party and relish the way the harvested fruit is used here.
"The texture is so rich and dense with the almond paste, oats and apples, I think it's best cut into a smaller bar size," recipe developer Pam Simmons says. "It's a perfect fall dessert and it keeps well, although it will disappear in a flash."
APPLE ALMOND SQUARES
(Prep 15 minutes, baking 35 to 40 minutes, start to finish 55 minutes)
7-ounce package almond paste, grated
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon apple-pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peeled, diced, firm apple, such as a Granny Smith
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
Add almond paste, flour, oats, baking powder, apple-pie spice and salt to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until mixture is the texture of sand; or cut together in a bowl with a pastry blender. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beating together until light and fluffy. Add milk and beat until mixed.
Add flour mixture and apples to butter-sugar mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Makes 16 squares.
Recipe from Andre Prost Inc., Odense Almond Paste