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Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars

This recipe was a pain in the ass and I probably won’t be making it again anytime soon. Some of it was my fault: I halved the recipe (the original makes 4 dozen bars and would require me to peel 12 apples) and halfway through making the crust, I forgot and put in twice the amount of flour required. I baked it in an 8×8 but it probably would have worked out better in a 9×11–I only used 5 apples instead of 6 and everything just barely fit in the 8×8. And also because of the smaller pan, the crumble topping ended up being too thick for my liking and reminded me more of a granola bar.

I don’t own an apple peeler/corer so I did it all by hand which took a lot longer than I would have preferred. When I make blueberry and peach crumble bars, I generally use fruits that don’t require as much peeling. The crust looked nothing like I’ve ever made before though it ended up working out okay. In the future, I’ll probably just make the crumble bars and if I want to adapt to apple, that’s fairly easy.

That said, I brought this to my family’s Easter celebration and it was all gone before lunch even started! I’m sure this is also an okay recipe to make pie bars out of other fruits as well…I’ll let ya know what happens when peach season comes around!

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars

Apple pie bars

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars (from Food & Wine)

Crust:

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Filling:

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 5-6 Granny Smith apples (~3 lbs)–peeled, cored & thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Topping:

  • 3/8 cup walnuts
  • 1.5 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubs & chilled
  1. MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9×11 with parchment paper. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter & sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy (~2 minutes). Reducing the speed to low, beat in the flour & salt until a soft dough forms. Press the dough over the bottom of the 9×11 pan and 1/2 inch up the side. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes, rotating pan  halfway through. Crust should be golden. Cool on rack.
  2. MAKE THE FILLING: In a large skillet, melt 3 Tbsp butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add apples and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until softened for ~10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon & nutmeg and cook until apples are caramelized and tender and liquid is evaporated. To prevent scorching and encourage cooking, add up to 1/2 cup of water during cooktime.
  3. MAKE THE TOPPING: Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden (~8 minutes). Coarsely chop the walnuts. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Using food processor with pastry blade or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in walnuts.
  4. ASSEMBLE: Spread apple filling over the crust, scatter crumbs on top. Bake in the center of the oven for ~1 hour until the topping is golden. Rotate the pan halfway through baking and let cool completely on rack before cutting into bars.
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