apple pastry squares

A family recipe. 

It's usually something that your grandparent or parent has made over the years. Maybe they got it from their friend at a party, or read it in a cookbook they've had since they were married.


My mom has a wooden recipe box in a cabinet in her kitchen. Inside, it's filled with weathered note cards, handwritten with recipes from friends and family. My grandmother's peanut butter cookies or a friend's oreo dirt cake. The edges are ripped and stained. And "XXX" written in the corner means it's a winner of a recipe. These, to me, are family recipes. 

And from that little box come these pastry squares. 

These are sweet and the icing makes them irresistible. My mom made these for our Christmas dinner the other night. In a crowded downstairs filled with screaming kids, lots of laughter and family - these pastry squares were served on a white platter on the dessert table.  And one by one, they disappeared. 


Add it to your recipe box, share it with a friend, make it for your next family dinner and enjoy this sweet treat. 

Apple Pastry Squares

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4-6 tart apples, peeled and sliced (such as granny smith)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Make the pastry: In a bowl, mix 2 cups of flour (reserve 2 tablespoons) and shortening and salt together - using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until it is a crumbly mixture. To the flour mixture, add the yolks, lemon juice and water. Pack the mixture up into two balls. Roll one ball out on a floured surface into a rectangle that you will lay into a 13x9 inch pan. 
  2. Make the filling: In a bowl, mix the sliced apples, sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together and spread out on top of the pastry that's in the pan. Roll out the second half of the pastry dough and lay on top of apple mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.     
  3. Make the Topping: Mix together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla and milk into a bowl until blended. While the baked apple pastry is still warm, spread the icing on the top of the pastry. 
  4. Cut into squares and serve. You can store these squares in the refrigerator until ready to serve. These are great warm or cold!

Hope everyone had a happy holiday! I sure don't want it to end... 

And before you part ways and head home, snag your favorite family recipe. Years from now, you'll be happy you did!