The autumn harvest is one of my favorite times of the year. The markets are bursting with bright orange pumpkins, green and yellow striped squashes, leeks as big as baseball bats, and apples….the incredibly diverse fruit with hundreds of varieties that has kept Maine people well nourished for decades. Even with this season’s sparse apple crop, we are enjoying a wide range of apple dishes these days. Apples in salads tossed with smoked blue cheese, apples baked with maple syrup and topped with heavy, Jersey cream, apples tucked into pots of baked beans, and apples cooked with the morning’s oatmeal.
In need of a quick and sweet treat for a meeting, I recently whipped up a pan of Apple Brownies. This recipe is adapted from “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook” by Amy Traverso, and is very easy and a real crowd pleaser. Amy recommends using a firm-sweet apple variety, like golden delicious, pink lady, or winter banana. My variety of choice was Jonathan. I left the skin intact, and the brownies were a golden brown with a pinkish tinge.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 large firm apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (we like Honeycrisp and Jonathan)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11 by 7 inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together at high speed the cooled and melted butter, sugar and egg until pale yellow. By hand, stir in the walnuts and apples until evenly coated. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and just firm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in a tightly sealed containers. Flavors are best one day after baking.