Ina’s Apple Pie Bars – Easier Than Apple Pie!

iamge credit peanutbutterrunner.com


Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

FOR THE FILLING

  • 3 lbs apples or about 4 medium apples (gala, braeburn, golden delicious, pink lady, etc), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a non-stick 8×8 square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper cut 8 inches wide but long enough to hang over two edges of the pan. This will make removing the bars from the pan very easy!
  2. For the crust, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, place butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until lightened in color and creamy. Whisk together flour, kosher salt, cinnamon and walnuts and slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, with the mixer on low speed. Beat until just combined. Scatter two-thirds of the dough into prepared baking pan and press down lightly so that it covers the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides. Reserve the remaining 1/3 dough for topping. Refrigerate pan for 20 minutes and then remove from fridge and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
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