Apple Pie Bars

Searching my Pinterest boards for a suitable recipe to celebrate the first day of autumn, I decided to try one for Apple Pie Bars.  In the end, I tweaked the recipe a bit, and so present my own version of them.  I'm pleased to say that they hold together beautifully!  And although I served them on a plate, I do believe they could be held in the hand, or the recipe even altered further to make individual hand-pies.

Apple Pie Bars

3 c. flour
3/4 t. salt
2 T. granulated sugar
18 T. unsalted butter, very cold, and diced into cubes
1/4 c. + 1/8 c. milk
1 1/2 egg yolks (not easy to do, but you'll manage)

5 c. apples, peeled, cored, and diced (use a mix of 2 or 3 varieties for the fullest flavor)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg

1 egg white
1/4 c. Turbinado (coarse-grained) sugar

Caramel sauce for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For crust: Add flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor bowl and pulse three or four times to mix.  Add cold, cubed butter and pulse 15-20 times, or until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add milk and egg yolks and pulse until mixture comes together into a ball.  Don't over mix, or you will toughen the dough.  Divide dough in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap, forming it into small, even rectangle as you do.  Wrap until enclosed in plastic, and refrigerate while completing the next step.

Filling: Peel, core, and dice the apples.  Place apples in a mixing bowl and mix with vanilla; stir well.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, and spices.  Pour flour mixture over apples and stir well.

Assembling: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough parts into a 9 x 13 rectangle.  Roll dough up onto a rolling pin and transfer to the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.  Spread apples onto dough, leaving about 1/2" space all around the edges.

Roll remaining dough into slightly larger than a 9 x 13" rectangle.  Transfer, on pin, to the top of the apples, and trim off excess dough evenly.

Gently press down all along the edges to seal.

Whisk the egg white until frothy, and brush on top of pastry.  Sprinkle liberally with Turbinado sugar.

Bake for one hour, until crust is golden brown.  Cool completely and slice into squares.

Drizzle dessert plates with caramel.  Place apple pie square atop caramel.  Top with dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.  

Serves 12.

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