Sweet

Apple Shortbread Bars

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A friend at work gave me some apples from her garden a few weeks ago so I was looking for recipes I could use them in – although an apple crumble is always high on the list! This one looked great as it’s like apple crumble bars. I did have concerns about the potential amount of moisture in the recipe but more about that later on. This recipe is from a blog entitled Life Straight Up which encompasses Food, Travel, Family, Health and Inspiration – go and check it out!

Ingredients

Base

  • 115g / 4oz unsalted butter
  • 50g / 2oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 128g / 4.5oz plain flour

Filling

  • 3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp ground nutmeg

Topping

  • 64g / 2.25oz plain flour
  • 165g / 6oz brown sugar
  • 115g / 4oz unsalted butter

Line a square 8in x 8in baking tin with baking paper and preheat your oven to 150C / 130C Fan.

I’d always recommend mixing using a stand mixer or hand mixer – for this you could probably also use a food processor. Make the base first by starting with the butter and creaming this for 5 minutes or until its gone a very pale yellow, almost white colour. Add the sugar and vanilla extract next and mix into the butter  before adding the flour and stiring well. Mine didn’t come together into a ‘dough’ but once I put it into the tin and pressed it down it came together well. Bake this in the oven for 15 minutes.

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When the base is ready, remove it from the oven and turn up the temperature to 180C / 160C Fan.

Once you have peeled and sliced your apples, put them in a bowl with the other ingredients for the filling and give it all a good mix until the apples are coated.

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In another bowl or in a food processor, make the topping by mixing the flour and brown sugar first before adding the butter. I used my food processor so had quite a fine topping or crumble. If you do it by hand you will probably get some lumps which is fine and gives some extra texture.

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Sprinkle half of the topping over the baked base then layer the apples on top. I just poured my apples on and spread them out but in hindsight I should have done them individually to layer them up more evenly. Once the apples are on, sprinkle the remainder of the topping evenly on top and bake for 30 minutes.

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When its ready, let it cool completely and then place into the fridge to set and before cutting into squares.

These tasted lovely and the shortbread base was still nice and dry – it hadn’t gone soggy from the apples, perhaps the layer of topping helped. I think I would cook these longer next time as once I’d left them for a while out of the fridge they had almost leaked and become a little wet – the base though was still crunchy which was great. Either way they still tasted nice and went down well!

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