As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not a big pie lover. That’s why, for this Thanksgiving, B and I decided to make a few pie-themed recipes in a non-pie form. So, desserts that are inspired by pie, but aren’t actually pie. Make sense? (or as my mom would say, Capeesh?) Yesterday I shared some awesome pecan pie bars. And today, it’s apple crumb pie bars!
Apple crumb pie MAY just be my favorite type of pie. Growing up, for Thanksgiving, we’d often pick up pies from a local farm in Upstate New York – and my favorite was always the apple crumb. And this bar recipe definitely reminded me of those pies – but even better, it’s in a cookie bar form! Oh yeah – these cookie bars also have oats and apples, so they have to be healthy, right?
Full disclaimer – these are very easy, just time consuming to make all three parts. It helps if you have someone peel and cut the apples while you prepare everything else. Thank you to B for taking on this oh-so-fun task!
Apple Crumb Pie Bars
Here’s what you need:
For the Crust
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Pie Filling:
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced thin (I used Granny Smith)
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
For the Crumb Topping:
- 2 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and cold from the refrigerator
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Start by making the crust. Beat butter, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in flour and sugar and mix until just combined – don’t overmix.
- This will be your crust! Using your hands, place mixture onto the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish prepared with parchment paper. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is just starting to brown. Cool crust.
- Prepare the pie filling. In a large pan, melt butter and mix in brown sugar. Add sliced/peeled apples and cook on medium to medium-high heat until apples start to turn translucent (about 10-12 minutes). Add cinnamon and nutmeg and cook about 10 more minutes, or until apple liquid has almost nearly disappeared. If it starts to burn/turns too dry before the apples are fully cooked, feel free to add a little water while you cook. Cool.
- Make the crumb topping. Combine rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. Cut in the 1 1/2 sticks butter using a knife and combine with a fork (or your hands) until the mixture is in crumbly clumps (again, yes that is the scientific term).
- Put it together! Place the apple filling over crust and then sprinkle crumb topping down over the apple layer. Press down lightly over apple layer until it’s thoroughly covered
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the oatmeal crumb topping is lightly browned.
These are inspired by a few recipes, mostly this one from Food + Wine Mag.