If the cooler weather has got you thinking about those warm, comfort foods of fall, this one is for you. It’s got the elements of apple pie — crust, apples and even a crumble topping — in the form of a bar. Pie or not, this treat still qualifies to be served a la mode with a little vanilla bean ice cream. If you haven’t warmed up your oven with a little fall baking yet this is a great one to start off with!
DElicious and definitely less work than making a pie!
Apple Pie Bars
6 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, slightly firm
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
1 cup medium-chopped toasted pecans
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the apples with the brown sugar, lemon juice, and honey. Cover the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover when the apples have released their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples have turned a golden brown and there is no liquid left in the pan, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with aluminum foil, pressing it smooth and snug in the corners and sides. Apply cooking spray to foil and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix to blend. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing only to combine after each addition. Divide the mixture into eight parts and place them in two rows down the length of the pan. With lightly floured hands, press the mixture evenly into the pan.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the crust has turned golden brown and begins to release from the sides of the pan. While the crust is baking, prepare the streusel topping.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, and salt for the streusel topping. Mix briefly on low speed. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture is crumbly and barely holds together when squeezed gently. Stir in the pecans with a large rubber spatula or a large wooden spoon. Set aside.
When the crust is done, immediately spread the cooked apples evenly over the hot crust. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples, pressing gently to help it adhere.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and crisp. Let rest in the pan for 2 to 3 hours before removing and slicing. The bars will slice better if they are chilled.