These Apple Pie Bars are made with a buttery shortbread crust, a perfect apple pie filling and finished off with a delicious oatmeal streusel topping. Highly recommend to serve with vanilla bean ice cream!
6-8apples (~3 lbs.) Mix of Granny Smith + Pink Ladycored, peeled, thinly sliced (~1/4 inch thick)
1lemon, juiced (~ 2 Tbsp.)
1/2cupwater, as needed
1cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick cook or 1-minute)
1cupbrown sugar, packedlight or dark is fine!
1stickchilled, unsalted butter cut into cubes (8 Tbsp.)
Make the streusel topping first: In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Cut in the chilled, cubed butter or mix with fingertips until the mixture comes together in clumps. Cover the streusel and place in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the shortbread crust and apple pie filling.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Make the shortbread crust: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, white sugar and brown sugar together until creamy. Add in the vanilla and then with the mixer on low gradually add in the dry ingredients. Press this into a 9x13 glass baking dish and refrigerate for 20 minutes (don't skip this step!). Once chilled, bake for 18 minutes in the oven. Remove and let cool while you prepare the filling. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F.
Place the sliced apples in a large mixing bowl and mix in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch and add to apples. (This is the thickener). Pour the apple mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes or until apples soften. Stir occasionally and add water as needed so apples don't burn or scorch pan.
Layer the apples over the shortbread crust. Top the apples with the streusel. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let apple pie bars cool. Slice and serve as is or with vanilla bean ice cream!
This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Ina Garten. I've made a few small changes but nothing too significant. Streusel Topping can be prepared 1 day ahead to save time; keep chilled.Cook the apples on the stove until apples are soft and use a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch to transform the cooked fruit's juices from runny mess to luscious, slice-able filling. Do not add too much thickener to your apple pie filling because it will turn it cloudy and pasty. Only need to cook for 5-8 minutes since apples will continue to cook in the oven.Be sure to refer to step by step photos within blog post for guidance.