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Apple Harvest Squares

Apple Harvest Squares - A Family Feast

September is the beginning of apple picking season here in New England – and as part of that, I always dig out a few of my favorite apple recipes including this recipe for Apple Harvest Squares!

These apple harvest squares are rich and delicious thanks to three sweet layers that make up this baked taste of fall. A buttery cookie bottom layer is topped with slices of sweet, fresh apples that have been sprinkled with lemon juice – the perfect tart counterbalance to the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients – then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Finally a top layer of chopped walnuts, flaked coconut, and vanilla complete this wonderful dessert. These apple harvest squares are like a wonderful apple pie – but in the form of a bar cookie! (They are soooo good!)

Apple Harvest Squares - A Family Feast

This recipe was adapted from one originally printed in The Boston Globe several years ago as part of a collection of recipes gathered from some favorite Boston-area apple orchards. This Apple Harvest Squares recipe is attributed to Lori Stephenson, Farm Store Manager at Bolton Spring Farm, who recommends making these squares with Cortland apples, or any other type of apple that stays firm when cooked.

Apple Harvest Squares
 
Serves: 12 large squares or 20 smaller squares
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted chilled butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2-3 large apples)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1⅓ cups flaked coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with pan spray.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, ⅓ cup sugar, and salt. Pulse once quickly to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse again until the butter is fully incorporated and you have a fine, dry crumb mixture.
  3. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. (Don’t worry about the crumbs looking too dry in the pan – it will bind together as it bakes.)
  4. In a bowl, combine the apple slices and lemon juice and stir to combine. Arrange the apple slices in rows on top of the crumb mixture. Sprinkle the apples with any remaining lemon juice left in the mixing bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup sugar with the cinnamon. Mix well and then sprinkle the mixture over the apple slices.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. While the pan is in the oven, in a medium sized bowl, mix together the remaining ⅓ cup sugar, egg, milk, vanilla, walnuts and coconut until well combined. Spoon over the partially baked apple crumb mixture and spread as evenly as possible.
  8. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the topping is lightly golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into squares while still warm. Allow to cool completely before serving.

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Apple Cake with Apples on Top - A Family Feast

 

 

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  1. I love the simplicity and seasonality of this recipe. Apples are one of my favorite foods on the planet! Thanks for the great idea. I think the kids would love to help make these this weekend.
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes recently posted…gluten free date bread with coffee and gingerMy Profile

    • Thanks Katie! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

      • I’m a bit confused. What is the white “paper-like” substance in the picture? And I don’t see apple slices ? How thick were the slices and how do you get squares from odd shaped apple slices ?! It sounds YUMMY but confusing? help?

        • Hi Susan – For the photo, we stacked the bars with small sheets of parchment paper in between each bar so they didn’t stick together in the stack. There is also coconut in this recipe which is also white in the photo. The recipe has you put a layer of sliced apples (they were fairly thin) in the center – as it bakes they get soft and cook down a bit so you don’t really see the full slice anymore. Once baked, cut into squares. Hope that helps.

  2. Making these right now! I have so many apples from apple picking and these bars caught my eyes on Pinterest!
    [email protected] recently posted…Super Snackin’ Sunday: Grape-Chipotle RibsMy Profile

  3. these look like the perfect fall treat!
    Heather @ French Press recently posted…Chocolate Pudding Brownie CookiesMy Profile

  4. I have just made these … they are just wonderful!!! Thank you so much for a great recipe.

  5. These sound delish!! And they’re gorgeous too!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Pumpkin Magic BarsMy Profile

  6. Oh my goodness, these look amazing! Pinned!
    [email protected] recently posted…DIY Sports ScoreboardMy Profile

  7. what kind of apples work best for these bars?

    • Hi Connie – As mentioned in the post, the original creator of the recipe recommends Cortland or any other apple that stays firm when baked. Hope that helps!

  8. This looks great! Could I substitute whole milk or something for the evaporated?

    • Hi Kate – Evaporated milk is thicker in consistency and richer in flavor than whole milk. I’d recommend using evaporated milk if you can for best results!

  9. I am so going to try the pumpkin pasta. We used to have a restaurant that had a squash ravioli dinner and I loved that. Do you have anything like that. I will do the pumpkin though.

    • Hi Karla – No – unfortunately we don’t have a squash ravioli recipe on our site (although it sounds delicious!). Hope you enjoy the pumpkin pasta bake!

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