Custardy Apple Squares is a quick and easy recipe. Peel and slice three apples thinly. Make a batter with flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Combine the batter and the apples in a square pan, bake, and 40 minutes later you have a lovely apple cake.
The recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi lists variations with pear, mango or quince and additions of rum or other liquor or almond extract.
The simple, unadorned flavor of this cake is what makes it outstanding.
One of the challenges of baking my way through Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi with the Tuesdays With Dorie online baking group is that each recipe is brand new to me, and I never know if it is going to turn out well or not. The uncertainty lies more with my baking ability than with the recipes which are clear and well written. In any case I don't usually plan to serve my creations at a dinner party.
I made an exception this week with the pear tart, which I served at Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great success.
The recipe is straightforward. Make a shortbread crust, prepare a filling of pears cooked in butter and sugar, and top with a mixture of egg whites, confectioners' sugar, and sliced almonds, My only goof was forgetting to butter the pie pan before patting in the crust, which made the tart a bit hard to serve.