Easier than making an apple pie, these apple pie bars will still give you all the fall feels without the hassle! They are the perfect dessert to add to your Thanksgiving or holiday table!
Why should you make this recipe?
BECAUSE apple pie bars are the perfect dessert shortcut to apple pie, duh!
When you just don’t have time to make a gorgeous apple pie or deal with crimping a crust, you make this crowd pleasing dessert.
Seriously I got this recipe done in less than a hour, and it made 16 bars! That means dessert for 16 people. If thats not an easy, make ahead, fall dessert for a crowd then I don’t know what is.
Reasons why this is easier:
- it feeds more people than a 9″ round apple pie
- it is so damn easy
- there is absolutely zero pressure to make a pretty pie crust top because of the crunchy crumb topping
- this recipe is super forgiving and easy to tailor to your sizes and liking!
Ingredients you need:
- Apples– I used gala apples, but you can also use macintosh, fuji or granny smith!
- Pie crust- Either store bought or homemade
- Crumb topping– don’t worry I show you how to make this!
How to make this recipe:
I make this in a 9×13 pan but you can definitely make it in an 8×8 square pan, just bake it for 10 minutes longer.
Step one: Bake the crust
First bake the pie crust on the bottom of the pan. Then layer all the cinnamony spiced apple slices and dump them onto the pie crust.
Step 2: Make the crumb topping
Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add diced cold butter and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter. When the mixture resembles wet sand with small pea sized pieces, you know it’s ready.
Step 3: Sprinkle the crumbs and bake
Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the apple slices and bake for 30 mins at 350° F. Cool the bars before cutting in to them.
Tips for recipe success
- Cut the apple slices about 1/4 inch thick. Use a mandolin- it creates uniform slices and cuts down on time
- To make sure they stay in the bar shape- do not cut them right away! When the bars cool down, put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight so they really solidify into their shape.
- Cut them when they are cold, it’s way easier! Then warm them up or leave them at room temp.
Store bought vs Home made Pie Crust:
These bars were also super easy to make because I used a pre made pie crust. Now just like Ina Garten, I feel like store-bought is fine.
Pie crust is just not one of the things I enjoy making, and I
usually always want to make a pie on a whim- so this is what I use 90% of the time.
The other 10% of the time I use I use my homemade pie crust recipe. I have a whole post on how to make a flaky pie crust, all with the best tips and tricks! It even works with a vegan butter!
Today though, out of ease- the store bought crust is the way we’re going.
Ways to serve these bars:
Ok, so they are already topped with a sweet crunchy topping, but if you want to go the extra mile you can top them with ice cream, or caramel sauce.
Or oohh you can even do both. Imagine a warm slice of these bars with melty cold ice cream and a caramel drizzle oozing down the sides.
Ok bye I think I have some leftovers in the fridge, I’m on that stat.
If you like this recipe, you might like these other bar recipes:
- Coffee Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Pumpkin bars with Chocolate Chunks
- Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
- Cookie Butter Biscotti
Apple Pie Bar Recipe
- 1 store bought or homemade pie crust defrosted (buy 2 if you want a thicker crust)
- 6 gala apples peeled cored, and sliced 1/4 inch
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ -½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup 1 stick butter or butter substitute I like earth balance, cold, diced small
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Defrost the pie dough for 15 minutes on your counter. When it is malleable, press it down into an even layer on the bottom of a 9x 13" 0r 8x8 square pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 350° F.
- Meanwhile, combine the apples, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium sized bowl and mix until the apples are evenly coated. Pour the apple mixture on top of the pie crust, and set aside to make the crumb topping.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, cinnamon and butter. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, pinch the butter into the mixture until it kind of looks like wet sand, Larger chunks of butter are ok to
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples and bake for 30 mins until the top is golden brown.
- Cool the mixture on the counter for about 30 minutes then place in the fridge for two hours or overnight. Cut them into bars when cold, then reheat or serve at room temp! Store in fridge for maximum freshness.