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Jablkova Pita

October 4, 2010

Jablkova Pita - Apple Square

These Slovak apple squares have been served in my family for over a century.  Recently my Aunt Diane arrived for a visit with some, and on my spring visit to Pivnica in Vojvodina a distant relative, Anna, served them to me fresh out of the oven; I was surprised to see the same squares served across the decades and continents.  We eat them on special occasions  such as Thanksgiving and for birthdays, and they are an easy alternative to pie. This is another recipe out of Pauline’s little handwritten pastry book; I’ve seen similar recipes in Hungarian cookbooks.

I can’t say that apple squares come to mind when I initially think of desserts to make (I’m more of a chocolate and nut person), yet whenever I eat these squares, I am smitten by the rich, buttery sweetness.  When served warm, they melt in your mouth.

Anna's pan of Jablkova Pita in Pivnica

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cups flour (less for a more cake like square, and more if you prefer it to be more like a crust)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the apple filling:

  • 2-3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼  cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

For the top:

  • beaten egg white
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Steps:

  1. Mix all together then divide into two balls; handle lightly to avoid making dough tough
  2. Flatten each ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for ½ hr
  3. Roll out each dough ball into a square 8×8 inches (if using less flour, simply separate the dough into two, and pour 1/2 the batter into the pan and then the other 1/2 on top of the apples)
  4. Place one square into the bottom of an 8×8 inch greased pan
  5. Sprinkle dough with sugar and cinnamon
  6. Cover with sliced apples and sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon
  7. Cover with second rolled out square
  8. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Jablkova Pita - Pauline's original recipe

Here’s an interesting way to serve this dessert – in a glass jar. This works great with peach or apple cobbler too.  Bake individual sized desserts in jars placed in a bain marie  to bake in the oven with (shallow pan filled with water about 1 inch up the sides of the jar). Serve with a side of ice cream in the jar lid.

Apple square in glass jar - serve ice cream in the lid!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Randy Townley permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:45 am

    This looks amazingly simple, yet delicious!

  2. Lidija permalink
    October 6, 2010 1:21 pm

    Since you like nuts, you may add some chopped walnuts (or pecans) into the filling. That is a recognised variation and it is delicious. I admire veryine who manages to roll pastry out into square shape. Or any shape, to be exact. I manage only the shape of Africa. 😦

    • October 6, 2010 2:03 pm

      LOL. My version of the apple squares are the top picture – very Africa-like. Anna’s are in the rectangular pan – very neat and square. And I will try adding walnuts next time :).

  3. Sue Kellinger permalink
    October 6, 2010 4:03 pm

    Is the receipe the same for both of the pictures dishes? One looks like it was made with pie dough the other with a cake dough? I like the bottom one, it looks like one my grandmother made. One receipe ?

    • October 6, 2010 4:05 pm

      Yes, it should be. In the top picture, I didn’t roll out the dough – I patted it down. In the bottom picture, same thing. In the middle picture, she rolled out the dough.

    • October 6, 2010 11:03 pm

      See my change to the recipe…

  4. Lidija permalink
    October 7, 2010 3:45 am

    Just looking at your grandmother’s recipe:it does not specify how much apples; also it does not say whether they shold be sliced or grated-. I suspect they are grated (like at your distant cousin’s cake). This helps cake to keep shape once sliced and adds to melt in the mouth effect. You may know “Pita” is word used in Serbia for a pie and is common among Slovaks from Vojvodina; proper Slovak word would probably be “rezy”-slices.
    I want to eat Anna’s jablkova pita, it looks so good. I have to stop visiting this page. 😀

    • October 7, 2010 3:13 pm

      Man, Anna’s squares were incredible. Moist and sweet – scrumptious. I could swear I said 2-3 apples, although other recipes I’ve seen call for as many as 5. And while I sliced mine, I think you are right – Anna must have grated hers, as it was more like a jam. Does “rezy” mean cake??

      • Lidija permalink
        October 8, 2010 3:51 am

        “Rezat'” means to cut, to slice, so “rezy” means slices.

      • October 9, 2010 9:45 am

        I think I should split this recipe into two postings – the new one should be jablkova rezy. I will work on this!

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