I have almost worked my way through the apples from our apple tree. The basketful was a bit of a double-edged sword - lots of delicious little apples to use in yummy, yummy ways but keeping is a bit of an issue, so we have auditioned plenty of apple recipes in the last few weeks. This easy option is a keeper that keeps well.
Most apple desserts don't travel particularly well so they are not great options for a lunchbox treat. This one works at home with a scoop of superior vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the leftover salted caramel sauce (if you haven't eaten it by the spoonful or used it all as an apple dip) and is honestly equally delicious all by it's naked self, freshly unwrapped from a square of waxed paper straight out of a brown paper bag. This really tastes like apples, not caramel, not cinnamon, but apple. The crust is nice and crispy-crunchy, the inside moist and perfect. That's my take anyway.
This a twist on a recipe from my grandma Ina Merrill. She called it 'apple crunch' and we love it exactly the way she always made it. The only reason I played with the recipe was just to see if it could be made into something that travelled well and didn't need to be eaten with a spoon. A simple matter of increasing a bit of this and that (principally more butter and flour), and voila! a happy success. Once again, I don't peel the apples because I just don't - why throw away all that goodness? But if you are a person that dislikes apple peel in their desserts, peel away. The apple pieces should be fairly chunky - about 1/2" 'cubes' (but don't get bent out of shape making them terribly cubic)
apple lunchbox yummies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
5 small apples, cored and chopped (roughly 3 cups)
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl beat together the brown sugar, melted butter, and egg until well-mixed and pale. Toss the apples with the dry ingredients, add the butter/sugar/egg mixture and stir gently until combined.
Spread the batter in a buttered 9x9-inch baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.