Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dutch Apple Pie Bars

Another year at SFW means more of our cook's delicious meals which means more leftover fruit at mealtimes. And you know what that means. Into the oven they go. This month, the fruit of choice has been apples. I've been collecting a few apples at a time a couple of days ago finally put them to use. As with the bananas, it's been hard to find new and exciting but girl-friendly ways to use them- how many apple cakes, pies, and crisps can you make? If we were talking crisps, my roommate from last year would say ALOT but.... it was time for something else. And so, the research began. I liked the idea of apple bars and found a few promising recipes in the cookie books on my shelf. The recipe I settled on was the Dutch Apple Pie Bars from the King Arthur Cookie Companion. Of course, I couldnt leave it completely alone. Instead I made some alterations based on my laziness these are time consuming as it is!) and what I had, or didnt have, on hand. How did they fare? First of all, I objectively dont know how you can go wrong with a bite size apple pie. And indeed, I left them in my room, untouched, and returned to a mostly empty pan- see picture below. The compliments I received on them were glowing-- these homey bars were quite a winner. The apples are cut in a dice, and the long bake softens them up into a nice smooth filling. The girls really loved them. Keep an eye on how much sugar you add, a couple of girls commented that they were a tad too sweet. So what did I do differently? Well, I omitted the cream from the filling, the almond extract from the topping, and instead of melting the margarine for the topping, I just cut it in to the flour to make a more crumbly topping. Feel free to do it either way. 

Dutch Apple Pie Bars
adapted from the KAF Cookie Companion

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp ice water

2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
5-6 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and combine.

Add the margarine,
and cut in until crumbly.

Add the beaten egg and the water a little at a time until the mixture holds together when squeezed.

Pat into a rectangle,
and roll into a rectangle to approximate the size of your pan. 

Fit the dough into the pan and dock it with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes until it is barely set. Remove from the oven. 
Here is my baked crust. Set aside while you make the filling.

Place the apples in a bowl.

Add the remaining filling ingredients, 
and toss to combine.

Pour over the crust and spread evenly. Set aside while you make the topping. 

Place the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Add the margarine,

and cut in until crumbly.

Sprinkle evenly over the apples. 

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 and continue baking for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
This is what I came back into my room to. :)

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