Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- Shortbread Crust
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- Apple Filling
- 2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)*
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup (70g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- homemade salted caramel sauce (step-by-step photos included)
Adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com
Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
Make the apple filling:Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
Make the streusel:Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two knives (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350F degrees. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Once cut, pour salted caramel sauce on top. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm or cold. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months - thaw overnight in the fridge, then drizzle with salted caramel before serving.
*I like to use two different kinds of apples for a more complex flavor. I typically use 1 tart apple variety such as Granny Smith, and 1 sweeter apple variety such as Pink Lady.
*Recipe may easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan. I'm unsure of the exact bake time, most likely around 45 minutes.