Wondering what to do with all those autumn apples? Try this Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars recipe for one of the best ways to enjoy your fall harvest of applies!
If you follow The Birch Cottage on Facebook, you know that I’ve been experimenting with Salted Caramel Sauce. There are many ways to make Salted Caramel Sauce. But, I wanted to try the original dry salted caramel recipe. Although I’ve made caramel sauce numerous times throughout the years, I have never tried to make it by literally melting sugar using the dry method.
Besides, I was on a quest to find the best recipes for my new found love of Honeycrisp Apples. These Apple Pie Bars with Salted Caramel Sauce fit the bill perfectly.
How to Make Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
The first part of the recipe is this incredibly buttery yummy shortbread crust. The second layer consists of apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. The third layer is the streusel: oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour and butter. Perfect streusel, I might add. And the fourth and final layer? Salted. Caramel. Sauce. THE grand finale!
Once you try this recipe, you’ll be making multiple batches in a week just like I did! If you love apple pie, you’ll love these bars and – are you ready for this – they’re much easier to make than apple pie!
How to Freeze
I love apple pie, but these bars – my new favorite! Wanna hear something else about these bars? You can freeze them. Simply bake the bars and before you drizzle on that caramel sauce, place them in the freezer.
I placed my bars on a small cookie sheet and once they were frozen (a couple of hours), I transferred them to a gallon freezer bag. I’m not sure why I froze the bars, they won’t last long in the freezer. But, I thought it would be nice to have a slice of Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars later in the winter.
Salted Caramel Sauce
If I haven’t convinced you yet to try these Apple Pie Bars, let me tell you about the Caramel Sauce. My Lenny said the final batch I made (I made three – scorched the first batch, won’t even talk about the second batch and perfection with the third) was the smoothest and best tasting caramel sauce he’s ever tasted. I concur!
Can I Double the Recipe?
This recipe can be, and you’ll probably want to, double the recipe. It’s simply that good! Promise. In fact, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say this is the best new recipe I’ve tried in a long time! So what are you waiting for? Go make some Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 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 old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides so you can easily lift the bars out of the pan. 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 into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling and streusel.
Make the 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 until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350°F . Layer the apples on top of the warm crust. Although it will seem like there are too many applies, just 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 or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Cut into bars. I usually cut into 12 or 16 bars. Once cut, drizzle some salted caramel sauce on top of each.
- These apple pie bars can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or even cold.
Make ahead tip:
The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. To thaw, place bars in the refrigerator overnight. Drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 2g
Til next time…