Friday, 6 October 2017

Apple Pie Bars.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Good morning!
And, what a beautiful morning we have here today.
After a few days of grey skies and miserable rain, we've been treated to two days of blue skies and blazing sunshine. The wind is still chilly though and the streets here are full of crisp leaves that have fallen from their trees. Autumn is well and truly here.
Autumn means apples. I know for some people, it is pumpkin season but I've never been a fan. I like them as decorations in the house and I did try baking a pumpkin pie once but truth be told, I wasn't the biggest fan. It is for this that on my blog at least, during the Autumn season, it is the apple that reigns supreme.
Last year, we got rid of our big apple tree in the garden but still have an even bigger tree that gives us lots of tiny crab apples come October. Most of them usually go into the compost but some did make it into this year's apple pie. Sometime after baking the pie, we were gifted with even more apples from family and friends. It was an influx of both sweet red and sour green apples that led to the baking of these apple pie bars.
The bars start with a very buttery and crisp shortbread base. It's then topped with cooked apples flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg. To finish, the remaining shortbread dough has even more cinnamon stirred in along with chopped walnuts for crunch. I cannot think of a better way to make use of your apple harvest this Autumn weekend.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Apple Filling:
1. Red Apples
2. Green Apples
3. Lemon Juice
4. Caster Sugar
5. Ground Cinnamon
6. Ground Nutmeg (optional)
7. Butter

For the Shortbread Biscuit Base:
1. Caster Sugar
2. Soft Light Brown Sugar
3. Vanilla Essence or Halal Extract
4. Butter
5. Salt
6. Plain Flour
7. Walnuts
8. Ground Cinnamon

Bismillah, let's begin!


Before baking, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Take a 22 x 33cm (9x13 inch) baking tin or dish and line it with foil. Make sure the foil goes up the sides of the tin as this will make it easier to pull our bars out later.

We start by cooking our apple filling. So, these are 1 and 1/2 pounds (700g or 7 medium) Red Apples. They were gifted to us by a family friend who grows them and were really sweet.

Give them a peel.

Slice out the middle core.

And, slice the apples into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Place the slices into a large mixing bowl.

I love their pink colour!

Next, the green apples which are usually a little sour. Gifted to us by my aunt and uncle, I used 1 and 1/2 pounds (700g or 6 medium) Green Apples.

Do the exact same with these apples - peel them, core them and slice them into 1/8 inch slices.

They then go into the same bowl with the red ones.

Give them a toss.

Before adding in the Juice of 1/2 Lemon.

60g Caster Sugar

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

And, 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg. The nutmeg is optional.

Let's stir it up!

And, things already smell amazing.

To cook the apples, melt 60g (4 tablespoons) Butter in a large pan over a medium heat.

Once the butter has melted, add in the apples.

Cook them over a medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes until the apples are soft but not mushy and ....

... most of the liquid has evaporated. A little, like in the picture above, is fine but you don't want to much.

Remove the apples from the heat and let them cool slightly while we make my favourite bit about these bars - the shortbread dough.

Into a large mixing bowl, place 170g (3/4 cup) Caster Sugar.

90g (1/2 cup) Soft Light Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence or Halal Extract

And 450g (1 pound) Butter, at room temperature.

Using an electric mixer, beat everything together for 2 minutes until light and creamy.

Then, place a sieve over the bowl.

Sift in 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

And, gradually sieve in and mix in 560g (4 cups) Plain Flour.

Mix with an electric mixer until you can no longer see the flour.

Now, let's get baking. 

Grab your prepared tin and add in 2/3 of the shortbread dough.

Press the dough in with lightly floured hands to form the base and ....

.... a border 2cm (1/2 inch) up the sides of the tin. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Then, bake the base at 190C for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

Let the base chill a little and turn the oven down to 180C.

Meanwhile, let's deal with the rest of the dough.

Add in 60g (1/2 cup) Walnuts, chopped.

Along with 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon.

Mix until just combined.

Next, let's assemble our apple pie bars. Onto the base, spread over the apple filling evenly leaving a 2cm (1/2 inch) border.

It doesn't have to be perfect!

Then, pinch pieces of the walnut cinnamon shortbread dough over the apples.

Bake the bars at 180C for 25-30 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Like this!

Let the bars cool completely. If you can't resist, you can dig straight in but if you want a neat cut to your bars, let them cool.

Then, pull the bars out of the tin and slice them into 12 bars.

Guys, these apple pie bars have the best of both worlds. A juicy apple filling with warming cinnamon and ....

.... a really buttery, crisp shortbread biscuit base. The two are a match made in heaven and perfect for your Autumn weekend.

Apple Pie Bars.

Prep Time: About 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bake Time: About 50 minutes.
Serves: Makes 12 large bars.

Ingredients

For the Apple Filling
1 and 1/2 pounds (700g or 7 medium) Red Apples
1 and 1/2 pounds (700g or 6 medium) Green Apples
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
60g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (optional)
60g (4 tablespoons) Butter

For the Shortbread Biscuit Base
170g (3/4 cup) Caster Sugar
90g (1/2 cup) Soft Light Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence or Halal Extract
450g (1 pound) Butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Salt
560g (4 cups) Plain Flour
60g (1/2 cup) Walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Before baking:
Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Line a 22 x 33cm (9x13 inch) baking tray or dish with foil or baking paper.

Cook the apple filling:
Peel, core and slice the red and green apples into 1/8 inch thick slices. Place in a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice, caster sugar, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Stir until well combined.

Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the apple mixture and cook over a medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes until the apples are soft and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Let the filling cool slightly whilst making the shortbread.

Prepare the shortbread:
Into a large mixing bowl, place the caster sugar, soft light brown sugar, vanilla essence and butter. Beat well with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and creamy. Sift in the salt and plain flour, in batches. Mix until you can no longer see the flour.

Bake the base:
Place 2/3 of the shortbread dough into the tin. Press lightly with floured hands to form the base and 2cm (1/2 inch) up the sides. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then, bake at 190C for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool a little and turn the oven down to 180C.

To the remaining shortbread dough:
To the remaining shortbread dough, mix in the chopped walnuts and ground cinnamon.

Assemble the apple pie bars:
Spread the apple filling evenly over the base leaving a 2cm (1/2 inch) border. Pinch pieces of the walnut shortbread dough and drop over the apples.

Bake the apple pie bars:
Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes at 180C until the topping is golden brown. Cool completely.

Serve:
Once cool, slice into 12 pieces and enjoy with hot tea.

{adapted from cooking for jeffrey}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your apple pie bars!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!


Spice Enthusiast

4 comments

  1. They look amazing!! Well done

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks great, I'll definitely try this. Have you ever had pumpkin halwa? I don't normally like pumpkin either but halwa is delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Never tried pumpkin halwa. Will have to give it a go. Maybe it'll convert me!

      Delete

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