9 December, 2016
Hello, hello! Thank you, dear readers, for being so patient. It’s been a busy season with work and stomach bugs and grandparents moving from one living space to another. Thanks for bearing with the delay.
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of my terrible history with apple desserts. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I finally broke the trend!
Okay, mostly. I spilled a little extra almond extract into the mix, but other than that, I broke the trend.
This apple danish is pretty easy for the first time crust-maker, and it’s a tasty way to make your home smell divine. Speaking of crusts, you’ll notice that this calls for shortening as the fat in the crust. I strongly recommend you don’t sub it out for butter or margarine. Shortening, in spite of its reputation in the health world, is a game-changer in the baking world. You can make light, flaky crusts with relative ease by using shortening.
Whether you’re making this treat as a dessert, a potluck contribution (like me), or as a breakfast for a special occasion, it’s sure to impress even the pickiest of guests.
…Of course, if someone doesn’t want their piece, I’m sure finding someone to eat it for them won’t be a problem.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 large egg yolk (save the white!)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
6 cups sliced peeled apples (about four large apples)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 to 3 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 13×15 glass baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and shortening, adding shortening in gradually until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. I recommend starting with a rubber spatula for this one and then finishing up with your hands.
Once that’s combined, mix together the egg yolk, milk, and almond extract and add it to the flour mixture. Again, start with a spatula and finish up the mixing with your hands, combining everything until it just sticks together.
Divide the dough in half. Set one half aside for later and roll out the other half into about a 13×15 rectangle. Transfer the rolled out dough to the greased baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once those ingredients are thoroughly combined, pour them over the bottom layer of dough and spread them evenly. If you wish to add nuts, sprinkle them on top of this layer.
Roll out the other half of the dough as you did before and lay it on top of the layer of apples. Brush with egg whites and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
For the glaze, once the danish has cooled, mix together confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and enough water to make the glaze runny enough to drizzle, and zig-zag over the top of the crust.
Serve in squares and enjoy!