I’ll let you guys in on a little secret, I absolutely hate making apple pie. The problem is that I love to EAT apple pie. I’ve tried to make it in the past, and let’s just be honest, it isn’t a walk in the park. It’s especially difficult when you make your own pie crust, and I’ve never been super successful at making my own pie crust. I have decided to come up with a recipe for this Thanksgiving that still gives my guests and I that great apple pie flavor, without actually making an apple pie. Maybe next year I will give it a go once again, but there is just way too much on my plate this year to be experimenting with new recipes. So anyway, these apple pie bars…my oh my…are they delicious. I took a couple of short cuts (short cuts that I am not ashamed to admit), but the flavors and aromas are still there. These bars are kid friendly and perfect with ice cream and a great brew. If you are just as busy as I am this year, try this recipe out. I promise that you will not be disappointed (and neither will your guests).
Weather: It’s disgusting out! It’s been cloudy and rainy for two days. It’s not like a nice, warm rain either. It is a super cold rain: the kind of rain that had me THRILLED to move from the Northeast to Colorado. We aren’t supposed to get this type of cold, drizzly rain here (rain that I like to call “Pennsylvania rain”). Where is the snow? What is this all about?! Ugh. Can you tell I’m over it? I’m so over it.
What am I doing: As I continue to be bummed out about the RAIN, it has still been a relaxing start to the week. We’ve been eating a lot of soup, and I don’t think Cilantro has moved from his spot in 24 hours. I blame the rain. =)
Recipe Fun Facts:
Important about tackling the pie crust:
If you would like to make your own pie crust, then be my guest. I will be testing out a few recipes in the next few days because I see a blueberry pie in my very near future, so you can always wait until I have that recipe up. Don’t think you are completely off the hook though if you decide to use a store-bought dough. There will be some prep work involved. When I made these bars, I used 2 x 9 inch round pie crusts. I rolled them out and cut them into small rectangles with a paring knife by trimming around the edges. I then pieced it back together until I had a large 15 x 17 inch piece of pie dough (the size of my baking sheet). This isn’t difficult, but it will take you some time. Another way of going about it would be to lay both rounds on top of your baking sheet and then trim around the edge of pan until you have a rectangle. You will find that the dough is pretty elastic (y), but it WILL tear if you pull too hard. Be careful. Whichever way you decide to do it, is fine with me. In the end, you just want an even layer of dough.
Another very important step, is to make sure you have extremely thin apple slices. This may take you 10 years if you decide to do it by hand, which is ok. I have done it before. My hand felt like it was going to fall off, but I got the job done. I think the best way to do it is with a mandolin, and if you have a KitchenAid stand mixer (and happen to have the slicer attachment), this will work the best. It will also save you a ton of time. It’s important that they are all the same size, which makes these tools perfect for the job.
Oh and guess what, they can be made a day or two in advance! Woohoo!
We absolutely love Lefthand Brewing around here. Maybe this is because they are right down the street. I wanted a beer that was hearty and robust for this recipe, and I thought a stout would be perfect. Lefthand Brewing’s Fade to Black Volume 1 was perfect for the job. The important thing to know about Fade to Black is that it comes in volumes, and the most recent volume is much different than the first. It’s a great brew, but it’s not what you want for this beer pairing. Make sure to take a look at the label. Towards the top of the bottle, it will tell you which volume it is. This particular volume is just magical. It has hints of espresso and a touch of sweetness. It pairs very well with chocolate and desserts, and even more so with these apple pie bars. If you can’t find this beer, then any stout with coffee-like aromas will work perfectly.
Enjoy your evenings everyone!