This past week was incredibly hectic for our little family. We were running around non-stop and I completely forgot about an activity that I had promised to bring treats to. With only a few hours to whip up something before it started, I decided to make these dulce de leche apple pie bars. They’re kind of amazing! I love how much flavor is packed into every layer of them. And dulce de leche? Yes please!
I originally planned on using my favorite brand of dulce de leche, but I couldn’t find it anywhere at our grocery store! So instead I bought a cheap little can of caramel, and while it wasn’t quite the same, it did the job! To start, I make my favorite pastry dough for the bottom. It’s flaky, sweet and really easy to work with. While that was chilling in the fridge I got the apples peeled and sliced and ready to go. I prefer using a mix of sweet and tart apples (granny smith and honey crisp or fuji) to create a nice balance in flavors. You can use whatever you like, it’s up to you! I tossed the apples with a little flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Then to make the topping I whisked together a combo of old-fashioned oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender I cut in a stick of butter and it was ready to go!
All that was left to do was assemble everything. I rolled out the crust and cut in into a 9×13 inch rectangle, placed it in a parchment lined pan, poured the apples over top and pressed them in. I spooned the dulce de leche over top (you can use salted caramel too) and then sprinkled the crumble over everything. After 45 minutes in the oven everything looked and smelled amazing. The crust was flaky and crisp, the apples were soft and flavorful and the topping was crunchy and brown. Perrrfection!
They were such a huge hit they were gone in seconds! Everyone loved how they tasted and how easy they were to eat. No mess, no dishes just pick ’em up and enjoy! I can’t wait to make these bars again, only just for our family to eat!
ADDITIONAL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- For the crust:
- 1¼ c. all-purpose flour
- 1½ tbsp. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 7 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into ¼" pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 2½ tbsp. ice water
- For the filling:
- 4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ⅔ c. Dulce de leche or salted caramel
- For the crumb topping:
- 1 c. old-fashioned oats
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- ⅔ c. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ c. unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- To prepare the dough, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and ice water. Slowly pour into the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender until pea-size clumps form. Knead the dough into a ball, then pat flat and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, combine the apple slices, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and vanilla in a large bowl, toss together to coat evenly.
- After the dough has chilled, roll it out into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Place in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combining the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, whisk together. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold cubed butter until small clumps form. Pour the apples into the pan over the pastry dough. Press to create an even layer, then spoon the dulce de leche over top. Pour the crumb topping over the apples. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool for 45 minutes before cutting and serving. The parchment paper should help prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
Recipe source: Life Made Simple