Gluten-free Apple Pie Bars

Fall is here! Well, it’s almost here. We still have a few days left of summer, with humidity and warm weather, but in New England we have had the first taste of crisp air and that immediately brings memory of apples and longing for fall baking.

I have been in New England for 20 years now, and this is the season I love most. And not just because my birthday falls in it, but also because this is when we celebrate the Jewish New Year – with its promises of hope and possibilities, and Thanksgiving – a holiday in which food reigns prime and families spend time with each other. This year COVID will dictate a different landscape to our celebrations and festivities, their being more virtual and technologically challenged, though food will still be part of it. We will cook our turkey and sides, bake our pies, Rosh Hashanah will still be sweetened by honey cake and Yom Kippur’s fast will be broken by bagels, cream cheese, kugels, and a nice coffee cake. We will all eat it in front of a screen, on a Zoom call, sharing memories and laugh, wishing for a better 2021.

So to salute the season that welcomes apples, a couple of weeks ago I decided to look for a recipe that could mimic the apple pie filling, but that would give an interesting twist to the classic pie recipe. Ina Garten came to the rescue – well, the Internet and Google did, but Ina won the contest of the most appealing version of apple pie bars. I changed a few things, used my flour, and here they were, flavorful, melt in your mouth, buttery Gluten-free Apple Pie Bars.

ENJOY!

Gluten-free Apple Pie Bars

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: Recipes, cookies and barsDifficulty: Medium
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 452 gr Unsalted butter, softened – 2 cups, 4 sticks

  • 150 gr Granulated sugar – 3/4 cups

  • 110 gr Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup

  • 2 tsps Vanilla extract

  • 624 gr Simona’s Flour Mix – 4 cups

  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder

  • 1 1/2 tsps Salt

  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon

  • 50 gr Almond meal – 2/3 cup

  • For the apple filling
  • 1.5 lb Granny Smith Apples* – quartered, cored and sliced 1/8 thick – 3 large

  • 1.5 lb Golden Delicious Apples* – quartered, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick – 3 large

  • 2 Tbsps Lemon juice

  • 50 gr Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup

  • 1 Tbsp Boiled apple cider – optional but preferred

  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg

  • 56 gr Unsalted butter, cold – 1/4 cup, half a stick

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line and grease a 9’X13″ baking pan with parchment paper.
  • For the crust
  • Place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined.
  • Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the almond meal and cinnamon, and mix on low speed to combine. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to a 9″x13″ rectangle, approximately. Refrigerate.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
  • For the apple filling
  • Combine the apples, lemon juice, and cider in a very large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.
  • Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the apples, and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has evaporated.
  • Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
  • Take the rest of the crust from the refrigerator, peel off one of the sheets of parchment paper, and turn the crust upside down on the filling. Let it rest for a couple of minutes so it softens and becomes more pliable.
  • Make sure that the filling is completely covered and that the crust is sealed on its edges.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Notes

  • *I ended up using apples I already had, Gala Apples, 3 lb. And I used a mandoline slicer to slice them thin. The original recipe asked for peeled apples, but I like to leave them unpeeled because it gives more fiber and some color to the filling. You are more than welcome to peel them instead before slicing them.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. teresam61 says:

    This looks delicious……will have to try it one of these days! By the way….I used your “Simona’s Gluten Free Flour Mix” in my favorite cornbread recipe and boy is it delicious !!! You would never know it’s gluten free. No sandy grit like every other gluten free product I’ve ever tried. I’m ever so thankful that I happened upon it 🙂

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