Apple and Almond Crumble Pie Bars


Today is going to be a little bit different, because the story behind why I made these bars is a sad one.


My dear friend’s mum, Sophie, passed away last week.

She was an amazing woman, full of life, love, energy, positivity and strength. She left this world before her time, and will be greatly missed by many.


I made this pie in Sophie’s memory, and gave it to my friend.

The bars are beautiful, with buttery shortbread pastry, warm apple pie filling and almond crumble. They incorporate the things Sophie once told me she likes in desserts, and remind my friend of his Mum.


So today I ask all of you out there who come across this post, or who decide to bake these bars for a loved one, to please spare a thought for Sophie and the wonderful family she left behind. Please hold them all in your heart, and in your prayers, if only for a moment, so that they may find the strength to get through this time.

May Sophie rest in peace. May her memory live on forever.


APPLE AND ALMOND CRUMBLE PIE BARS
The crust is adapted from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson.

For the brown butter shortbread crust
3/4 cup icing sugar (82g, 3 oz)
2 1/4 cups plain flour (327g, 11 oz)
1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (255g, 7 1/2 oz)
pinch of salt

For the apple filling
8 large Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch

For the almond crumble
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
125g cold unsalted butter, cubed (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt

To make the filling, peel, core and chop the apples into 1cm (1/2 inch) cubes.

Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon and water in a saucepan. Cook, over a low heat for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples should be soft but still hold their shape.

Drain the juice from the apples into a small bowl. Stir in the cornstarch until it dissolves and return this mixture to the apples. Mix to combine. Set aside to cool.

To make the pastry, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 9 x 13 inch pan with baking paper.

Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the flour and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on a low speed to combine. Add the butter and mix on a low speed just until a dough forms.

Put the dough in the pan and press it evenly into the base and up the sides. This will take a little time and is annoying, but keep at it.

Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 25 – 35 minutes, until it evenly colours to a golden brown. I had to uncover mine for the last 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the crumble. Mix the flour, almond meal, butter, sugar and salt together using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on a low speed for 4-5 minutes, until a buttery crumble forms.

Once the crust is baked and golden, remove it from the oven and discard the baking paper and beans. Spread the apple filling evenly in the crust. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the apples, clumping some bits together.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting. Makes 20 pie bars.

11 Thoughts on “Apple and Almond Crumble Pie Bars

  1. Anne Bonney on September 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm said:

    What a lovely remembrance for Sophie’s family.

  2. thevelvetdoe on September 18, 2012 at 10:44 am said:

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear that! Sending positive thoughts to Sophie’s friends and family at this time x

  3. What a beautiful sentiment – thinking and praying for your friend and his family!

  4. What a thoughtful thing to make. Both the bars and the post. Your friend is lucky to have a friend like you. I’m also sending positive thoughts their way!

  5. Pingback: >Nutella Swirled Wholewheat Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter

  6. I made this recipe last night for a work meeting this morning. My colleagues LOVED it! The pastry was so good that I’ve decided to use it as my ‘staple base’ for other tarts and slices :)

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