After a failed apple pie using whole wheat flour, I had too much pride to let an apple baked good go without trying something else. I moved on from apple pie, picked up some all-purpose flour and made these lovely apple crumb bars.
The recipe, adapted from Annie’s Eats, was easy…I started making these at 9:00 pm and was done in time to go to sleep on time.
One note on baking late at night: When I was in high school, after dinner and after all my homework was done, I would love to whip up some muffins or cookies, anything I could bake that we had around the house. To this day when I skype with my dad in the evenings, he still teases me asking whether at midnight I’m going to decide to make a pie.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- the filling
4 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
5 T. sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
¼ cup fruit jam (I used plum)
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 T. unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking dish with foil and grease
1. In a large skillet combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm. In a small cup, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice. Add to the apple mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using forks or your hands, until crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven.
3. Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot. Top with the cooked apple mixture.
4. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the topping. Mix well until combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple layer.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Using the foil, lift out of pan. Cut into squares and serve.
Voila! I’ve been redeemed!
Food for thought: The original recipe used peach jam, but as I had only blueberry or plum, I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t mess up another apple recipe! In the end, the plum jam somehow worked really well. I googled other apple-plum recipes and surprisingly found quite a few: A Apple-Plum Chutney, Apple and Plum Crumble and Apple-Plum streudel. If you try any of these, let me know.