Apple Pie Bars
When fall arrives, crisp apples of every color and variety begin to show up in the markets. Celebrate the season with Apple Pie Bars made with a sweet buttery crust and finished with a Vanilla Glaze drizzle. I made these bars with a lattice top because lattice pies have a nice look, but you could also use a solid top crust with a few vents cut in to let the steam escape
Recipe type: Dessert | Fruit Pie | Slab Pie
Serves: 12 to 14
Pan: One 10½" x15½" x1" Jelly Roll Pan Prep: Ungreased Pastry: Sweet Butter Pastry Prep: Unbaked Oven Temp: 400° Storage: Covered, Cool Place or Refrigerate
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup cold milk (preferably whole milk)
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 cups apples (about 3 pounds) (use all Granny Smith or a combination of about 5 Granny Smith apples and 3 Yellow Delicious apples)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Approximately 1 tablespoon milk (preferably whole milk)
- Approximately 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 teaspoons warm milk (preferably whole milk)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and milk. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until all the flour is moistened and forms a ball. If the dough seems too crumbly, add a little more milk if necessary.
- Divide pastry in half; gently pat each half into a 6 inch disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Remove one pastry disc from refrigerator. If the pastry is too cold and is hard to roll out, let stand at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry from the center out into a rectangle about 12 inches by 17 inches.
- Transfer the pastry to one ungreased 10½ x15½ x1 inch Jelly Roll pan; gently press the pastry to the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the pastry to ½ to 1 inch beyond the edge of the pan.
- Prepare filling while pastry is chilling. In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice apples about ¼ inches thick and place in a large bowl with lemon juice. Stir to evenly distribute lemon juice to help prevent apples from turning brown. Sprinkle cornstarch over apples, and stir until well mixed and cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside until top pastry is rolled out. Just before you are ready to create the lattice top, add the sugar mixture to the apples, stir until well mixed, and pour the apple mixture into the jelly roll pan lined with the bottom pastry. Pat the apples as evenly as possible in the pan to make an even surface for the lattice top. Tip: don’t add the sugar mixture to the apples until ready to place in the pastry lined pan. When the sugar is added the apples will begin to develop juice (macerate), creating too much juice for bars.
- Remove the remaining pastry disc from refrigerator. If the pastry is too cold and is hard to roll out, let stand at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes Roll the pastry into a rectangle about 19 inches by 21 inches, about ⅛ inches thick. Using a fluted or straight-edge pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or kitchen knife, cut as many ½ inch strips and the size of the rolled pastry will allow. (You will need several strips, depending on how far apart the lattice is spaced.)
- Arrange strips evenly spaced and about ¾ inches apart, diagonally over the apple filling, placing the longest strips in the middle. Each end of the strips should overhang the pan by at least 1 or 2 inches. Working from the right side, gently fold back every other strip, a little past the center, so that they are doubled back on themselves. Lay a vertical strip down the center next to the folds in the horizontal strips. Unfold the horizontal folded strips back over this strip to create a weave. Again, working from the right side, fold the other horizontal strips back on themselves. Lay a second vertical strip next to the folds. The new strip should be parallel to, and about ¾ inch from the first vertical strip. Repeat once more, so that ½ of the pan is woven. Turn the pan around. Weave the opposite side of the pan as you did the first side using the remaining strips of pastry.
- Trim the pastry strips, leaving a 1 inch overhang around the pan. Fold the pastry strips under the bottom pastry. Gently Press the two layers together to seal the edge. If you have any lattice strips remaining, place them around the outside edge as a finishing touch.
- Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes to chill. Chilling the pie before baking helps to maintain a flaky crust and relaxes the pastry to help prevent it from shrinking while it bakes.
- While pie is refrigerating, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, allowing 15 to 20 minutes for the oven to preheat before baking.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush milk or half and half over lattice top and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake: Place Jelly roll pan on a baking sheet lined with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until the juices are thick and bubbling and the crust is a golden brown. Rotate the pan during baking if necessary for even browning. Tip: During baking, if crust is getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top to prevent the crust from over-browning.
- In a medium bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, or wire whisk or spoon, combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla. Add warm milk in small quantities, start with 2 teaspoons of milk, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add milk in teaspoonfuls or just drops of milk at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for drizzling, the icing should be like a thick sour cream.
- When the glaze is the right consistency, drizzle over top of cooled pan of bars. When glaze is set, cut into bars.
Tip: Fruit pies are juicy and usually bubble over; bubbling fruit juices are very sticky and can be hard to clean up. There are a few solutions for easy clean up. Place the pan on a larger rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, grease the foil for easier removal, or juices that have bubbled over will cause the foil to stick to the bottom of the pan. Discard the paper or foil along with the spilled juices after baking. Or, place a non-stick baking mat on top of un-greased foil, curve up the edges of the foil to keep the juices from spilling onto the floor of the oven, and place the pan directly on the baking mat. Or, place a drip pan lined with foil on a lower oven rack underneath the pan while it is baking to catch the juices when they bubble over.