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20.10.12

HUNGARIAN APPLE SQUARES - ALMÁSPITE



Almáspite is a soft, moist pastry slice; a true Hungarian classic. This is the only fruit filled confectionary I do not put Fruit Fresh into. I love how the golden brown apple filling looks between the soft pastry layers. I have been dreaming of them since I made the plum squares last month. Then yesterday’s weather forecast for the night was a little under zero, so Jim picked the apples, leaving only a few on top of the tree. The birds will need them when the snow comes. So the first thing I made this morning, even before I had my breakfast, was a nice big flat of almáspite. Jim said that it really agreed with him. As for me, I died and gone to heaven.
I used a large rimmed baking sheet, but for a 9X12 inch baking pan I would cut the ingredients in half. It is possible to make the squares with a thicker apple layer, but the true Hungarian almáspite is a fairly flat square.
*The apple juice should be drained off, but not discarded. 2 kg of grated apple yielded me 3 cups of pure apple juice. I froze it, labelled it and will use it for baking whenever the recipe calls for apple juice. Or drink it up, it is a delicious juice, but it cannot be kept for longer than a day or two before it goes bad. To preserve apple juice you have to boil it, and I would rather leave the juice fresh. Grating the apples is the surest way to remove the juice. After the juice is removed, you don’t need any thickeners for the filling, not only that, you will be adding the juice of half a lemon to it.

Pastry:
3-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup butter, soft
2/3 cup sugar
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg

Apple Filling:
8-10 apples
2 Tbsp sugar
juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For Assembling The Squares:
2 handfuls of fine breadcrumb
1 egg, lightly beaten

• Rub the butter into the flour, dispersing it throughout.
• Add the sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, baking powder and finely grated rind of half a lemon.
• Whisk them together to combine.
• In a small bowl combine the sour cream and the egg with a fork.
• Add to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
• Kneed the dough for a couple of minutes and then wrap it up with plastic wrap.
• Place in the fridge.
• Meanwhile prepare the apple filling.
• Wash and peel the apples.
• If using windfalls, cut out the centers and all the blemished parts. You may have to cut the apples into pieces to do this. Grate the healthy apple chunks into a large bowl.
• If using healthy apples, grate them until reaching the cores. Discard the cores.
• By now there is a pool of apple juice in the bottom of the bowl.
• Transfer the grated apple into a large [fine] sieve.
• Take a handful of grated apples and squeeze out the juice and place the squeezed out grated apple into a clean bowl. Save the apple juice and use it for some other purpose.*
• Add the sugar, lemon rinds and the fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.
• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Cut two pieces of parchment about the size of the baking pan.
• Place both piece of parchment paper on the board.
• Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into two equal pieces.
• Place a piece of dough on both parchment papers.
• Press them into rectangles.
• Sprinkle the top with flour and roll out both pieces of dough to fit the parchment papers. You may have to cut away bits of dough and add to other parts to fit the parchment papers.
• Grasping the parchment, move one of the rolled dough and place it into the baking pan. [with the parchment paper on the bottom.]
• Poke the pastry with a fork at intervals.
• Now lightly scatter 2 handfuls of fine breadcrumbs on the top.
• Spread the prepared apple fill on the pastry layer.
• Grasping the parchment, take the second rolled out pastry and place it on top of the apple filling, but this time with the parchment on the top. Remove the parchment paper and discard.
• With a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg yolk onto the top. [there will be considerable leftover egg]
• Poke the top with a fork and place in the preheated oven.
• Bake until top is golden brown.
• Yields 28 squares
 

22 comments:

  1. Another discovery of an amazing Hungarian cake! This kind of pastry sounds very unusual. I can imagine how the grated fresh apples make it soft (the lower layer). Your grated apples have reminded me of the easiest apple cake in the world I posted some time ago. http://www.withaglass.com/?p=7632 Grated apples soften the dry mixture and the cake is soft. (I cannot believe! it was already a year ago! Time goes by so quickly...).

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  2. A delicious fall favourite, I love the pastry of this sweet!

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  3. I do too Eva. It's still warm and you can slice it already. I have been waiting for our apples and when I saw you having it in Budapest... the waiting was even harder. I am not the jealous type but… hehe

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  4. Sissi, my friend thought it was a cake too. But then she picked her share a day and a half later. On the first day this is unmistakably a pastry.

    Yes I remember your apple cake Sissi, I made that too and couldn't have been happier with it. :-)

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  5. Wow Zsuzsa, the last time I had this amazing Almás Pite, when my aunt who used to live next door to us made it...and that was a long time ago!
    (at least 20yrs)
    She made it exactly the same way...so authentic so perfectly awesome and delicious! You have no idea how I've been trying to get this recipe in English, because I never did get the recipe from her!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, which I shall cherish, and will make it ASAP and link it back to you:)

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  6. Some people cook the apple filling on the stove before adding it to the pastry, but I don't think it's necessary.

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  7. What is the size of the baking pan used in this recipe?
    Thanks.

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  8. Lena, I used a 16X10 inch rimmed baking sheet.

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  9. We loved to go to my Nagymama's and have this with her cherry and apple strudel...my mouth is watering

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I can hardly wait for my apples to ripen.

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  10. just made this and it looks and tastes just like my mum used to make it. thank you for sharing your recipes

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome Maria

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  11. Hi Zsuzsa,
    I would like to ask you about the amount of the flour, is it 3 and 3/4 cups? Because I'm thinking is that a bit less for just 3/4 cup butter? Sorry I'm very new for bakery and I really want to try this recipe to surprise my boyfriend ( he is Hungarian) :)
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is 3 and 3/4 cups. If I would put 3+3/4 cups, it would mean that the 3/4 cup is going to be added sometimes later. But when it says 3-3/4 cups it means that is the total sum of flour [even if it's added gradually] you will be putting into the recipe at a certain point. Good luck, this is a nice square.

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  12. Hi Zsuzsa!
    I just made it today, it's really awesome!!! But my pan is bigger so a bit flat. Anyway thank you very much :)
    Btw, I've try your Dioskifli last week, was beautiful as well!

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    Replies
    1. Lara that's perfectly acceptable. When I make a larger amount I use a whole size pan and I only double the amounts, because the pan is not very deep. Those always end up flatter, but the taste is the same. I am glad you enjoyed my recipes. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

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  13. Hi Zsuzsa,

    Today I made it again, this time I was a bit naughty: using half normal flour half wholemeal flour. Well, it came out a bit dry, I am not sure it because I left it in the oven a bit longer or from wholemeal flour? anyway, it taste delicious as usual :)
    BTW, could you suggest which Hungarian dessert is suit for a bakery beginner like me? Thank you very much

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    Replies
    1. Wholemeal flour will change the consistency and the taste. If you compare white bread with wholewheat bread you will agree that whole wheat bread is heavier. I cannot comment how to change the recipe, because my aim is to keep things as authentic as possible. I am not interested in substitution unless I am forced into it. That being said, Hungarian Rice Pudding, Apricot Linzer Bar, Swiss Roll and Raspberry Buttermilk Cake are all easy to make. So are most of my cookies, cupcakes and bread loaves.

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  14. Thank you very much! I'll try some of them soon for sure! :)

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  15. Anonymous17.9.16

    I haven't seen any new posts lately I hope you're still at it, because I just LOVE your blog... BTW I will make this almaspite today to impress my husband who never had Hungarian dessert... this will do it :) I'll try 9x13 pan, hope it will work... I want it to taste like my grandma's :) Aniko

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    Replies
    1. Well Aniko, I have not been blogging for close to a year. Although I put one recipe on recently... I am too busy with other things at the moment. And with 996 recipes to date I don't feel the pressure to post. I miss some of my blogger friends, but I am staying away from them... not wanting inspiration... not just yet. :D

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