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Life with Food

Apple Bar Goodness

I’m on a roll with recipes… at least these past 2 days.  Since I have been failing to sit down and write about life these past few months, I figure I can at least document good food we’ve been eating and share it with all of you fine people.

These apple bars are good.  Not just the I’m-only-saying-this-to-be-nice good.  This recipe is goooooood.  This may be best in the fall when apples are plentiful or when you are canning applesauce and have leftovers, but let’s be honest, they can be eaten anytime! Here’s what you will need:

Crust Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups flour
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 egg yolks (save the whites for later…)
milk to add

Preparation for crust:
Cut the flour, salt, sugar, butter, and shortening together like a pie crust.  A fork would work, but a pastry cutter works best.  Put the 2 egg yolks into a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to make 2/3 cup.  Beat the yolks and milk together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Split into two equal-ish halves.  Roll out the first half with the least amount of flour you can while still being able to pick it up off the counter.  Place the first rolled half onto a hotel pan (10×15 jelly roll pan – has anyone ever noticed how many different names there are for these pans?).  Cover the other half with plastic wrap to keep moist until you roll it out at the end.

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup crushed Corn Flakes
6-10 apples, peeled and sliced
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Final Preparations:
Sprinkle crushed corn flakes over the bottom crust.  Slice the apples and add on top of the crushed flakes.  Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon combination over the top of the apples.  Roll out the other half of the dough, place over the top of the apples and seal the edges.  Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff and brush on top of the crust.  Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until crust and whites are golden.  Make a powdered sugar glaze (a runny sugar cookie frosting) and pour over the top when the bars are lukewarm.

Tips:

  1. The crust will need to be fairly thin when it’s rolled out.  Or if you are like me, the top crust doesn’t quite make it to the edges.  The bars will still taste good, it just messes slightly with the texture of the apple filling.
  2. If you are in a pinch, you can also use store-bought crusts.  Just be warned, it gets expensive.  I typically have purchased the Pillsbury pre-rolled pie crusts that come in boxes of 2.  I think I use about 6 of those crusts to cover everything, and at about $3 a box, you can make the crust in a MUCH more cost effective way. Don’t be afraid of making the crust!
  3. If you are unfamiliar with rolling out dough, it works very well to roll the dough back onto the rolling pin to transfer it to the pan.  Don’t worry about the dough sticking to itself.  It has yet to happen to me more than I am able to fix quickly.
  4. The corn flakes sound weird – I know.  But please trust me on this one and use them!  They soak up moisture from the apples as they bake, so the crust isn’t as soggy and slimy when they are done.  You will NEVER know the flakes were on the bottom.  I promise.
  5. I’ve used several types of apples before: all granny smith, all braeburn or fuji, and combinations of all.  My favorite apple to use the the braeburn/fuji especially if you leave the apple skins.
  6. To brush the stiff whites on top, a cooking brush works best; however, in a pinch, I have also used a small rubber scraper.
  7. The “glaze” on top can be as thick as you like.  The thicker you make the glaze, the sooner you can top the bars with it as the heat will thin things out as the glaze heats up.  My goal when glazing is not to completely cover the bars, but to make sure each piece will have even distribution of frosting goodness when eaten.

One day, I’ll actually cook things during daylight hours, so I can take pictures of these delightful dishes.  For now, just make the bars yourself to see how wonderful they truly are.

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