Apple Crumb Bars
Fall is a time for everything apple. The cooler temperatures just beg for a kitchen to be filled with the inviting and delicious aroma apples being baked into mile high apple pies, apple bundt cakes, and cinnamon apple muffins. I hopped on the apple bandwagon over the weekend a baked up an apple filled treat for my family and a few friends of my kids that happen by my kitchen.
While working at a gourmet market about 4 years ago, I was continually developing seasonally recipes for the cookies, bars, cakes, and pies I prepared for our customers. One autumnal treat that was a customer favorite was Apple Crumb Bars. Spiced apples are sandwiched between two buttery oat-filled crumb layers and baked to a golden brown. Served warm topped with vanilla ice cream or alone with a cold glass of milk as an afternoon snack, these cinnamony apple bars are disappear quickly. The Husband has enjoyed the bars with his morning coffee and commented that they are the perfect Fall treat. He was even battling with a friend of My Middle One for the last couple bars on the cake stand.
Add this recipe to your files of treats to bake for your family and friends. They will be thanking you all season long.
Apple Crumb Bars
I like to use Empire or Braeburn apples in these tasty bars.
Makes 9 x 13 inch pan – about 24 bars
2 tablespoons butter
7 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 7 medium sized apples)
¼ cup apple cider or juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
for crumb layers -
1 ¼ cups flour – I use whole wheat white all purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups oats
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
vanilla ice cream – for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the apples. Stir to coat the apples with the melted butter. Mix the apple cider or juice with the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir into the apples and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until the apples begin to soften, about 5 – 7 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a food processor add the flour, sugars, oats, and salt and pulse 4 – 6 times or until the still has some whole oats in it. Do not pulse until the mixture is fine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly with pieces about the size of marbles.
In the prepared baking pan, add one-half of the crumb mixture and press down. Layer the apples on top and sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture and press down lightly.
Bake for 30 minutes. Increase oven to 425 degrees and continue baking until the top of the bars are golden brown, about another 10 - 15 minutes. Let cool and cut into bars. Serve alone or topped with vanilla ice cream.