Apple Pie is one of the most traditional Autumn and Thanksgiving dessert recipes, alongside Pumpkin Pie and Derby Pie (at least in our house!). The combination of apples with warming spices, a buttery crumble topping and flakey pie crust to hold it all together is just dreamy with these upcoming chilly Autumn days. My suggestion? Cozy up on a Saturday afternoon, bake a batch of these and enjoy them alongside a warm mug of chai tea or coffee with cardamom.
Pies in bar form are brilliant, truly. They are easy to eat, they’re great for on-the-go (think bringing lunch to work, or packing a special treat in your kid’s lunch boxes, or a snack while running out the door…), and they re-heat beautifully. After I made my Derby Pie Bars last year I fell in love with the idea and proceeded to create these Apple Pie Bars.
These have all of the flavors of traditional apple pie, yet they are more convenient and easier to eat. They would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table (dessert deserves its own table, obviously). They would also be nice to bring to a party during the holidays, or as a sweet housewarming gift.
Apple Pie Bars
Whip up a half batch of my favorite cobbler/pie crust recipe
5 cups apples, peeled and chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cups oatmeal
2/3 cups brown sugar
6 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
Butter, for the pan
Prepare crust as directed and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and chop 5 cups of apples, which is about 6 large apples. Place the chopped apples in a bowl and combine with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and maple syrup.
In a large skillet with tall sides, melt 3 tbsp butter. Pour the apple mixture in and sauté over low heat just until the apples begin to soften slightly (not more than 10 minutes).
This is obviously not a big enough skillet, which I realized after I took this picture and then I switched pans
While the apples are cooking, combine all ingredients for the crumble topping in a food processor and pulse just to combine. Butter a square or rectangular pan. I used a nice, deep square pan but you can even use a brownie pan.
Roll out the dough and place it in the bottom of the pan, with the sides folded over the edges of the pan.
Tip: The easiest way to do this, which my great grandmother taught me, is to loosely roll the dough onto your rolling pin, hover your rolling pin above your pie pan, and gently unroll the rough so that it falls softly on top of the pan. From there you can gently maneuver and press it down into the bottom.
Once the apples are done, pour them straight from the skillet into the prepared pan. Press the apples down with a rubber spatula to flatten them and then top with the crumble mix. Trim any extra crust around the edges, or fold it down to create a little bit of a rim around the apple pie bars.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust and crumble topping are both golden brown. If the crumble begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover the pan with foil.
Once they are done, let them cool for about 10 minutes before digging in. You can top these with vanilla bean ice cream, or enjoy them as is!
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