apple pie squares

Streusel Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Shortbread Crust:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks), cut up

Apple Filling:
3 tablespoons butter
3 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup dark seedless raisins
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare streusel topping: mix all ingredients with your hands in a medium bowl until mixture holds together. Shape into a ball and cover and refrigerate.

Prepare shortbread crust: In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly into prepared pan. With hands, firmly pat crumbs into bottom of pan to form a crust. Bake 20-25 minute or until lightly browned (crust may crack).

Prepare apple filling: In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, raisins, sugar and cinnamon, and cook 15 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. In cup, mix cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir into apple mixture until thickened (it will thicken almost immediately). Remove from heat. Spoon hot apple mixture over warm crust. Break Streusel Topping into 1/2-inch chunks and scatter over apple mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until streusel is golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. When cool, cut lengthwise into 3 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. Use wide metal spatula to lift and serve squares.

Each square: 425 calories; 3 g fiber; 23 g fat (12 g saturated); 52 g carbohydrate; 49 mg cholesterol; 225 mg sodium.

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