Apple Breakfast Bars
- the filling:
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 3 apples (345 grams), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- Wedge of lemon
- May add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cinnamon if desired
- If you’re pressed for time, or not crazy about apples, then skip making the filling and swap in 1/2 cup (132 grams) of pre-made jam or preserves.
- For the crust & topping:
- 1 cup (150 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup (95 grams) old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup (54 grams) packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) flax seeds
- Pinch of fleur de sel
- 8 tablespoons (112 grams) butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and come up, over the sides.
To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar, and salt, and stir to make sure the apples are well coated. Squeeze the lemon over the pan to release it’s juices into the filling; stir to combine. At this point the apple mixture should be bubbling. Reduce the heat to low, and let the apples simmer until they are very tender, and broken down (similar to a very chunky applesauce), 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, get started on the crust and topping. Add the flour, oats, sugar, flax seeds and salt to a deep bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in the melted butter, and using a fork, stir until it becomes a wet, sandy-looking mixture, and the dry ingredients have fully absorbed the butter. Divide the mixture in half.
Press half the flour and oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the apple filling into an even layer on top. Sprinkle the remaining flour and oat mixture evenly over the filling. Use your fingers to gently press the topping into the filling.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is deep golden, and the filling is gently bubbling through cracks in the topping. Remove from the oven, and let cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. If you left enough overhang on your parchment paper, you should be able to hold the ends of it to lift the bars from the pan. Cut them into 12 equal rectangles, or smaller bite-sized pieces if you prefer. Store bars in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days.