Whatever the calendar says (and yesterday, the calendar truly said it), fall arrives when I've baked my first Sour-Cream Apple Cake Squares of the season.
No fall that I can remember in years ever has arrived in our family without my preparing this fabulous dessert to welcome the autumn. Fresh, crisp apples peeled and chopped fine go into the batter, seasoned with spice, to make this an ideal fall dessert. Company goes nuts over it; so--year after year--do folks around our family dinner.
My friend, Lori Haaland, prepared this dessert one evening when Hubby and I dined with her and her family back in the early 1980s when we all lived in Houston and her husband was on the staff of one of the churches there. I owe Lori a thank-you for many staples in my recipe collection--among them Copper Carrot Pennies (an identical recipe, furnished by my cousin, Yvonne, appears in my new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden).
The squares can be crowned with sugar-free whipped topping or even ice cream, if you really want to indulge. When this dessert is baking, the kitchen--and the rest of the house--fills with an intoxicating spicy aroma. Makes you ready for all the other fall icons--hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, turkey and dressing--and, oh yes, (if you live in Texas as we do), the end of our most-unfall-like summer temps!
Sour Cream Apple Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar (I use brown-sugar substitute)
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use salt substitute)
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg (I use egg substitute)
2 cups chopped apples (I use Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
Mix first three ingredients until they are crumbly; stir in pecans. Press 2 3/4 cups of this mixture into 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. To remaining mixture add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.