Dive into the flavors of fall with our delightful Apple Crumble Bars, boasting a tender shortbread base and a crunchy brown sugar streusel topping. A delectable treat reminiscent of a Dutch apple pie in bar form! Discover our step-by-step guide at Ineskohl Kitchen.
- For the Apple Filling:
- 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the Shortbread Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the Brown Sugar Streusel:
- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, cold and cubed
- Preparing the Apple Filling:
- Combine your sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Ensure the cornstarch blends well.
- In a pan, toss the chopped apples with the sugar mixture.
- Mix in the melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Cook on medium-high heat for about 12-13 minutes until the mixture thickens. Once done, set it aside to cool.
- Crafting the Shortbread Crust:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
- Gradually add the melted butter, stirring until the mixture turns crumbly.
- Pour this mix into a 9×9 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread and press it down evenly to form a firm base.
- Creating the Brown Sugar Streusel:
- In a separate bowl, blend together the flour, brown sugar, and sugar.
- Incorporate the cold, cubed butter using your fingertips or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Chill this mixture for about 10 minutes for easier handling.
- Assembling and Baking:
- Evenly spread the cooled apple filling over the shortbread crust.
- Crumble the chilled streusel topping generously over the apple layer.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 35 minutes or until the streusel topping turns golden brown.
- Allow the bars to cool, then slice and serve!
Pairing and Storage Suggestions:
1. Pairing Tips:
- Beverage: These Apple Crumble Bars pair beautifully with a warm cup of spiced chai latte or a cool glass of milk.
- Dessert Complement: Serve alongside a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream for an enhanced dessert experience.
Store any remaining bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer freshness, refrigerate them, and they’ll stay delicious for up to a week.
The frozen streusel can be stored for up to a month. It’s perfect for quick desserts or as a topping for your morning oatmeal or yogurt.
- Fruit Swap: You can swap out apples for pears or a mix of summer berries for a twist on the classic.
- Nutty Crunch: For an added layer of texture and flavor, sprinkle some chopped walnuts or pecans over the streusel before baking.
Ineskohl’s Tips: The joy of these bars lies in their balanced flavors – the subtle hint of cinnamon, the tang from the lemon juice, and the sweetness of the apples. Always choose fresh, juicy apples for the best results. Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are excellent choices for their tartness which complements the sweetness of the bars.
Notes: These bars are a harmonious blend of soft apple filling, crunchy streusel, and a delicate shortbread base. They encapsulate the essence of autumn, with subtle hints of cinnamon and lemon. Store any leftover streusel in the freezer for future treats. Enjoy!