This recipe is seriously the Best.Ever Apple Bar! Deliciously apple-y and sweet, bottomed with an effortless shortbread, topped with an oatmeal strussel and then topped again with caramel! I highly recomend making your own caramel. Search 'CaraScotch' here on Food52 for my hybrid version of caramel and butterscotch sauce. So easy you'll never go without. However if that seems too daunting store-bought will do just fine.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. My family enjoys vanilla ice cream as a side.
This recipe was adapted from 'sallysbakingaddiction'. I added my own twist with additional spices including more nutmeg, allspice and salt. If you don't have vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract will do just fine. And of course MORE APPLES! Apple butter is a new ingredient brushed onto the crust top for an even stronger apple flavor. I also doubled the recipe, increasing cooking times. —Alexandra Grace
Butter, unsalted, melted
Granulated White Sugar
Vanilla Bean Paste
Large Apples, mix of Gala and Granny Smith. Peeled (optional) and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line bottom and sides of a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper or foil and butter or spray lining. Set aside.
Stir the first four ingredients together to combine. Add the 2 cups flour stirring to combine.
Press into bottom of prepared baking dish. Place in oven and bake until dough is set, 25-30 minutes checking for doneness after 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare filling. In a large bowl combine apples, 4 tablespoons flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a few dashes salt. Toss gently until everything is evenly coated. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Add butter and cut in with two butter knives or a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
When crust is done and out of the oven, raise oven temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush crust with apple butter. Top crust with apples, pressing down gently. Then, top with oat mixture. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes until top is browned.
Cool on counter about 1 hour. Chill in fridge overnight or at least 4 house before cutting into 24 pieces. Top with caramel sauce and whipping cream or ice cream of choice.