Apple pie bars create a half baker’s sheet pan of apple pie, but with an amazing crust to filling ratio. It is a fantastic dessert recipe to bring to fall potlucks and ensure that everyone gets a piece of the pie to try. Filled with tart apples with a soft, almost frothy crust, these are sure to be a crowd pleaser!
First, start off with creating a soft pastry dough. It will be slightly sticky. As my mom always says, the harder the dough is to work with, the tastier it will be. I use a silicone pastry mat (with plenty of flour dustings) and it helps make this dough both manageable and delicious! For the pan, use a half sheet pan with sides. These measure about 18″ x 13″ x 1″ tall. To measure if your dough is rolled out large enough, flip your pan over and hold it over the dough.
Apple Pie Bars Filling
To prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy, crush a few handfuls of Wheaties or Bran Flake type cereal and spread it evenly over the crust. It will help to absorb the excess moisture and you won’t notice it was ever there. Plus, it sneaks in a little extra fiber.
Next, prepare the apples. You may use any tart apple variety, or a mixture. The classic Granny Smith Apples work great here! An apple peeler, corer, slicer will drastically cut the prep time down. Place the bite sized apple pieces over the crushed cereal, top with sugar mixture, and then add the top crust. Lastly, spread the beaten egg white over the top crust. This will give it the sort of frothy texture. Use the excess dough with cookie cutters to make a fun design. I made this batch of apple pie bars for a Flamingo themed dinner party so there are flamingo cut outs and flamingo shaped vents.
Apple Pie Bars
- 2½ cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 large Egg Divided
- ~2/3 cup Milk
- 1 cup Butter
- 1-2 handfuls Bran Flake Cereal or Wheaties About 1 cup
- 6-8 Apples Tart, such as Granny Smith
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- 1⅓ cups Granulated Sugar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 4 tbsp Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1-2 tbsp Sparkling Sugar Optional
- Combine the 2½ cups of flour, butter, and salt with a pastry blender.
- Separate the egg, setting the egg white aside to come to room temperature.
- Put the egg yolk into a liquid measuring cup and fill with milk to measure a total of ⅔ cup. Stir, and then pour into the flour mixture and mix well to form a solid ball of dough.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll one half out on a lightly floured surface to fit a half baker's sheet with edges. Crush the cereal with your hands and sprinkle over the bottom crust in an even layer.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into bite sized pieces. Place on top of the crushed cereal layer, forming a ½ inch layer.
- Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and 4 tbsp of flour, mix well. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples.
- Roll out the second half of the dough and place over the apple slices. Pinch and seal the edges.
- Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top of the crust. Cut vent slits in the top crust. Use excess dough for cutouts on top. Optional: Sprinkle cinnamon and/or sparkling sugar lightly on top of the egg white.
- Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reduce to 400°F and back for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool and cut into approximately 2½ in squares.
These apple pie bars have been a favorite of mine since childhood and I hope you enjoy them!