Saturday, November 14, 2009

Apple Shortbread Bars

With the several trips to the farmer's market that I have taken with the kiddos for Jack O Lanterns and other pumpkin products we have picked up several Apples. Once after we all picked out our pumpkins I was looking at the other produce when I looked back at Mr. Man and he was taking apples one at a time out of baskets, licking them and setting them on the gingham covered table (Mr. Man is 3 by the way). Two thoughts quickly went through my head since he wasn't biting them but only licking; the first, maybe I can put them all back before anyone notices... the second why are you licking an apple?!?

I then thought of picking up an apple that some other kid had done the same to and decided to purchase the ones that he had defiled so we came home from that visit with Jonathan, Gala, Macintosh and Granny Smith apples. So now you are thinking. "Is Bryan one of those parents that lets his kids run wild or is his son a really fast licker?" Neither... both, I don't know, in my defence I bought some non-licked apples so once I got home I could pretend the apple that I was eating was of the non-slobbered variety.

As happens with produce after a while on the counter I had already lost a couple and would be losing more soon so I decided that I had to use them up. I poked around and found a recipe on Epicurious to work from:

3 slices of bread ground into crumbs

for Shortbread Base
11/2 sticks Unsalted Butter
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

for Apple Topping
1 1/4 Sticks Butter Melted
2 Pounds Tart Apples
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2 TBS Flour

Toast the breadcrumbs at 350 for about 5 minutes, they should just cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, then set them aside for later, leave the oven on.

To make the shortbread crust put the Flour, Salt and Brown Sugar into a mixing bowl then slice the cold butter into the mix about a tsp at a time blend until it forms small lumps. I used a mixer, a food processor would work too. Evenly coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan and press it down lightly. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

To make the topping set the 1 1/4 sticks butter on the stove to melt then peel and core apples then cut into quarters and slice them thin. I used 5 apples 2 Granny Smith, 2 Gala 1 Jonathan (all medium sized) that may or may not be the ideal varieties, but it is what I had on the counter. When you take the crust out of the oven sprinkle 1/2 the sugar flour mix on top put the sliced apples on that, sprinkle the rest of the sugar flour mix on them. Here I added a sprinkle of cinnamon you can if you want. Top all of this with bread crumbs then drizzle the melted butter on top of the whole thing.

Put it back in the oven and bake for 50 minutes maybe a little longer. About 1/2 way through you will want to pull it out and press the filling down with a spatula to even it out. Cool for about 20 minutes.

I don't say this often, ok maybe I do, but I really mean it this time. This is sooo good, if you only make one recipe that I have blabbered on about this is the one! My house smelled like angels came in and kissed the oven and it tasted wonderful. Kris was going to give some to the neighbor so we don't just end up fat in my house, she was going to start working on the whole block. Then decided that she would share something else.

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