October 12, 2015

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

It's fall! It's fall, it's fall, it's fall!! And okay, it's about 100 degrees here today, and we probably won't have fall like temperatures until late November, but I'm still celebrating with all the apples and all the pumpkins.

Apple Pie Bars with Caramel

Last weekend we went to Apple Hill, which is a really cool area full of orchards and vineyards. And a ton of people in October. We went to a couple of the more out of the way places (much more our speed and much less crowded), and I stocked up on apples.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

And stared at some delicious looking caramel apples--my problem with caramel apples is I can never eat an entire one and I normally manage to get it all over myself while eating it... So I skipped the caramel apple and decided to turn some of my apples into a dessert.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars

A caramel apple crumble pie bar dessert. An apple pie bar dessert with caramel? A caramel apple tart? With crumbles? Haha! This recipe is a mash up of apple pie, caramel apples, and a pie bar. And it's topped with a delicious crunchy crumble and drizzled with more caramel sauce--in other words, it's unholy deliciousness!

Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping

It is a couple of steps--but I think it's totally worth it in the end! I put the steps in the recipe in the order I did them and when the caramel apple crumble bars came out the oven I had to resist eating them right then and there! These bars would be perfect with vanilla ice cream, but they're also good all by themselves!

Caramel Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bars Recipe
author: Happy Food Happy Home
makes 16-20 2x2 inch bar pieces

1 pie crust
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line a 9" x 13" rimmed baking sheet or casserole pan with parchment paper. 
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Carefully transfer the dough rectangle to the baking sheet. 
  4. Prick the dough all over with a fork. 
  5. Bake the dough for 10 minutes until the edges are firm, but the dough has not yet turned golden. 
  6. Remove from the oven and set aside. 

Caramel Sauce
*makes more sauce than you'll need for the bars. It's really nothing to complain about ;)

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar and corn syrup. 
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat swirling occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.  
  3. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully add the butter. The mixture will bubble! Be careful! Stir until the butter has melted. 
  4. Still off the heat, add the heavy cream and vanilla. It will bubble again! Be careful!
  5. Put the mixture back on the stove over medium high heat.  Stir the mixture until it all comes together.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes more until it becomes a delicious caramel color! Remove from heat and pour into a heat proof glass jar. 
  7. Set caramel sauce aside. 

3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and baking powder. 
  2. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix together to form small crumbles. 
  3. Set aside. 

3-4 medium apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
squeeze of lemon juice (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon corn starch
  1. Peel the apples. Quarter them and cut out the cores.  Evenly slice the apples to about 1/4 inch thickness. 
  2. Toss the apple slices with the cinnamon, lemon juice, and corn starch. 

To Assemble and Bake
1 par-baked pie crust
apple slices
1/4-1/2 cup caramel sauce
plus more caramel sauce for topping

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. On top of the pie crust (still on the parchment lined cookie sheet) lay the apples in rows, overlapping each piece 3/4 of the way.
  3. Drizzle the apples with a light layer of caramel sauce. 
  4. Evenly spread the crumbles over the top of the caramel drizzled apples.
  5. Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the apples are soft and the tops of the crumbles are golden brown. 
  6. Allow the caramel apple crumble bars to cool for about 30 minutes before drizzling with more caramel sauce and slicing. (I used a pizza cutter to slice between my rows of apples, then cut each row into four pieces.)
The bars will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but it's best to eat them the day of so the crumble stays crunchy!

Enjoy your caramel apple pie bars with ice cream, apple cider, or just all by themselves. Pack some up and go on a picnic to an apple orchard near you! Yay fall! 

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