"In one moment, I lived centuries." It's my favorite line from one of my favorite songs. Well, that's what the lyrics translate to, anyhow.
Although not quite as melodramatic, I feel the same way about these past two weeks. It's been a whirlwind of meeting new people, doing new things, and getting new perspectives.
It's been exciting! Interspersed among there I've had random food quests and cravings. These apple pie bars - the perfect homey autumn dessert - were obviously included.
I actually made these a while ago. I had been craving them for a while, and used the green apples my mom had given me to make apple crisp to make these instead. Oops. Apple crisp is her thing anyway ..
The base is a tender buttery crust. That's a good start already.
I think the best part is the apples. Thee are simply peeled and sliced (not all that finely) before being thrown into a pot, with a large squeeze of honey, some chunks of brown sugar, and a teeny bit of citric acid action to prevent browning.
Funny story about that. Our dorm kitchen is rather lacking in essential ingredients and tools. Therefore, I peeled and sliced the apples all with a blunt knife that was bigger than a paring knife, so a little awkward (and dangerous) to handle. And we didn't have any lemon or lime juice ... so orange strawberry banana Tropicana juice it was!
Hey, it worked. The pictures don't lie. (not that these do it proper justice)
The apples cook in their own juices for the most part, so even if you just wanted to make the apple component of this to serve with pancakes or waffles, it would be fabulous and very simple.
The tender fruit gets piled atop the hot crust. The streusel mixture is haphazardly squeezed into crumbs before being pressed into the apples for adherence.
The entire thing goes back into the oven so the streusel can crisp up. Everything melds together.
Cool for a bit, but not too long. You want these bars warm. Vanilla ice cream would be welcome, but it's not necessary.
Don't they sound delicious? I gave three generous-sized bars to this guy who's been being way too nice to me lately, and he ate them all within hours.
We're actually going to a comedy club tomorrow, so I'm thinking of possibly making dinner before. I have small corn tortillas I might fry up to make tostadas? Maybe I should start documenting my savory food ventures more. I've been indulging in a fair amount of salty snacks! Next post. Until then, enjoy these bars!
Apple Pie Bars
adapted from Technicolor Kitchen. it looks like a lot of directions, but it's really not that bad, I promise.
- 1 cup + 2 Tb all purpose flour
- 1/4 tspn baking powder
- 1/8 tspn salt
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 Granny Smith (any green tart) apples, peeled, cored & sliced about 1/4" thick
- 3 Tb brown sugar
- 1 Tb lemon or lime juice
- 1 Tb honey
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 Tb brown sugar
- 2 Tb granulated sugar
- 1/2 tspn cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 3 Tb butter, cold and cubed
- Start the apples first: Add all the ingredients to a pot. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, so the apples steam and release their juices. Then uncover, and let cook for about 15 minutes, until they're softened. Cool as you make the crust.
- While the apples are softening, make the crust: Line a 7 or 8" square pan with foil. Spray or butter foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, then beat well.
- Add dry mixture. Mix till just combined. Press dough into pan.
- Bake about 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the streusel: Combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Squeeze in butter with your fingers, until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
- After crust is done, immediately pile apple slices evenly over it. Squeeze streusel mixture in your fingers to form large crumbs and cover the apples. Press in slightly.
- Bake for another about 25 - 30 minutes, until streusel gets golden.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then devour.