Apple Pie Crisp Bars


Apple Pie Crisp Bars

Any pie lovers out there?  I’m not raising my hand on this one because I will say, I’ve never been one myself.  I do however have very fond memories of growing up and watching (sometimes helping) my Mom make pies.  She was and at 96 years old, still is very good at it!  I remember she would take the leftover scraps of pie crust,  form little shapes, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them and bake them…Yum!!  Maybe that’s why to this day I still love the crust. 

I will admit that I have never made a pie on my own and really have no desire to.  However, I always feel a little sense of guilt at Thanksgiving time because it’s such a traditional dessert.  No worries though, these apple pie crisp bars fill in that gap.  They have that delicious, flaky shortbread crust with all the flavors of apple pie.  So whether you’re like me and can pass on that slice of pie or you love apple pie, I think you’ll give a thumbs up to these bars!  Bonus…crumble topping!!

Note:  I’ve made these bars several times and the pics on this post were taken at the most recent.  It also happens that I ran out of maple syrup by the time I got to the filling.  Oh well, sometimes you have to think on the fly!  So instead I used half honey and half blackstrap molasses.  I mention this only because the apple filling is darker in these pictures than it would be with the maple syrup.  

 

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups+2 Tbsp Paleo flour
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp grass-fed butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (Use a quality syrup as opposed to a conventional light variety.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Apple Filling

  • 2-3 apples, depending on size (about 2 cups), peeled and diced (I used Honey Crisp.)
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cardamon
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt

Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 Tbsp almond or paleo flour
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.  The paper will stay in place better if you spray a little oil on the pan first.
  2. Hint:  Prepare your apples first so they are ready to go when you start the filling.
  3. In a food processor, add all of the crust ingredients and process until mixture is well combined and forms a dough consistency.
  4. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press it out evenly so that it covers the bottom of the pan.  Tip: do not clean your food processor, will use it again for the crumb topping.
  5. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes or just until a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven.
  6. While the crust is baking, add all of the apple filling ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Allow the mixture to heat.  It will begin to bubble and thicken.  Continue to stir the mixture during this process so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Once thickened (about 3 minutes), remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. In the food processor, add the crumble topping ingredients and pulse until they form a crumble consistency.
  8.  Lastly, pour the apple filling over the baked crust.  Spread the crumble topping evenly over the apple filling.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust becomes a golden brown and the apples are tender.
  10. Allow bars to cool before cutting.

 

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