When what seems like most people start craving everything pumpkin at the first sign of Fall, I start craving Apple Pie. The problem is, making it is a pain in the ass. The solution? Apple Pie Bars!
Apple Pie Bars are as easy as pie (unlike actual pie)
I saw a recipe for these in the NTY cooking app, and knew right away that I had to adapt them to be gluten-free. And then once I looked at the recipe, I knew I also had to simplify the whole thing. The whole point of these Apple Pie Bars is that they’re easier than making regular apple pie. Their recipe involved different crusts for the bottom and top, and cooking the apples, and mandatory fridge time…
Let’s un-complicate all of that, shall we? To make these Apple Pie Bars, the same dough is used for the bottom crust and the top crumble. Half gets pressed in, half gets crumbled on top. Easy! The apples are sliced thinly enough that they bake to be just tender, not mushy) in the same time it takes for the bottom to get crisp and the top to get browned and buttery. No need to dirty a pan and take time cooking apples. Easy and easy.
Easy. As. Pie. For real, though. If you prefer to keep it original, I totally get it- my Apple Pie recipe is a reader favorite! And if you’re excited about Apple Season and looking for ways to use them:
- Apple Sauce (stovetop)
- Apple Sauce (Instant Pot)
- Apple Cake
- Pan Roasted Chicken with Bacon & Apples
- Sweet Potato Puree with Apples & Sage
So much easier than pie!
For the Crust:
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch ((arrowroot will work as well))
- 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, (diced, plus more for greasing the pan)
- 1 egg
For the Filling:
- 2 pounds apples (I used pink lady, see notes for the best baking apples) (about 6–7 medium)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch ((arrowroot will work as well))
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (more if desired but cinnamon should be subtle, IMHO)
Make the Crust and Topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse a few times to start breaking it up. Turn it on for a few seconds, until the butter is incorporated as coarse crumbs.
- Add the egg and turn it on once more, until it just starts to come together.
- Press half the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Transfer the rest to a bowl and refrigerate both the baking dish and the bowl, while you prepare the apples.
Meanwhile, prepare the apples:
- Peel and core the apples and slice them about 1/8-inch thick.
- in a large bowl, mix together the apples, coconut sugar, tapioca starch, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Toss with your hands until all the apple slices are well coated.
- Remove the baking dish from the fridge and dump in the apples. Spread them out so they're somewhat uniform. Crumble the dough you set aside on top, doing your best to cover as much of the apples as possible.
- Bake for 55-70 minutes, or until the top is deep golden brown and the apples are tender (I poked them with a toothpick so see how much give they had) If the top starts to get too brown before the apples are tender, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before cutting into 9 or 12 squares.
According to Bon Appetit, the best apples for baking are:
- Pink Lady
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