Since discovering a fantastic apple orchard only 20 minutes from our house, I have been finding every excuse possible to necessitate another trip.  It may be a craving for an apple cider slushy or some pumpkin butter, or in this case, it was the fact that they were hosting Apple Festival!  We had a fun time looking through all the craft booths and the wonderful orchard store, and also took the time to pick some apples for ourselves.  I love pick-your-own apples because it takes no time at all to fill up a large bag, and the quality of those picked straight from the tree is SO much better than what you can buy at the store.  Of course I promised to make Ben an apple pie (his favorite dessert) but I also wanted to try out these bars.

This is a very simple recipe, and it comes together quickly.  It tastes remarkably like apple pie, but without all the fuss.  These bars are especially great if you would like apple pie but only want a couple of bites rather than a whole piece.  They are delicious plain, and even better with a tiny dollop of whipped cream on top!  Most people seem to have a favorite part of the apple pie – either the crust or the fruit filling.  Ben is a crust person but I am all about the filling.  Personally, I thought these bars were a tad heavy on the crust side and next time I make them I may use slightly less of the base mixture, but this is easily adjusted to suit your personal taste.

Apple Crumble Bars
For the base:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:
4 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
5 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup fruit jam (I used peach)

For the topping:
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

To prepare the filling, in a large skillet combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm.  In a small cup, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice.  Add to the apple mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line an 8×8” baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on both sides for easy removal later.  Grease foil.

To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.  Mix well.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two forks or your hands, until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven.  Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot.  Top with the cooked apple mixture.

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the topping.  Mix well until combined and crumbly.  Sprinkle over the apple layer.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Using the foil, lift out of pan.  Cut into squares and serve.  (If desired, refrigerate before cutting to firm up a bit for easier slicing.)

Source: adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

  • These look fantastic! I love crumb bars, but that’s probably because I’m a crust girl :)

  • Oooh these look great! Just looking at the picture makes me think of apple picking!

  • Erin

    These look delicious! I love the crust the best, so I’m sure I would love them! I’m not a big fan of fruit in desserts, but I do love apples, especially this time of year!

  • Yum! I’ve got some apples that I need to use up… this looks like a great way to use them up! So many apple recipes floating around right now!

  • I’m a crust person, too, so these look just perfect.

  • Me again! I just nominated you for an award!

  • these look divine! i have quite a number of apples left from the orchard trip, i don’t know if i’ll make this or the apple pie cupcakes/muffins?! oh, the choices!

    i’ve added you to my blogroll! :)

  • goodthingscatered

    These look absolutely GORGEOUS! LOVE this idea! yum yum yuM!

  • Thanks for trying out the recipe and for the link.

  • tashamort

    Yum! I just went apple picking too. This was the perfect alternative to a pie. Delicious! Thanks for such a great blog!

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  • Gena

    These were so good, my whole family loved them! The apples were slightly crisp and it was not overly rich so it was delightful! Thanks for the recipe, this one is a keeper.

  • Dana

    I made these today, I was not completely prepared, I decreased the Butter in the base by 3 TBSP And instead of Cornstarch and Lemo juice I did used Apple juice and wondra flour. It worked out great. We also used twice the amount of apples… it really makes up for the excess of crust! Fantastic recipe!

  • Marla

    These are amazing! I made them last night and pacakged them to take to my fellow classmates, they loved them! Another wonderful recipe from Annie Eats, thanks for the continued insipration.

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  • Deb

    My grandma made them so i helped her she used cherries they were still good, so you can use almost any fruit. i have had alot of people ask for the recipe, since they are so good i might enter them in the fair!!

  • These look amazing! Can’t wait to try them! Do you go to Anderson Orchard? We went there for the first time a couple weekends ago and LOVED it! The apple cider slushy was so GOOD!

  • Annie

    Yes, I am obsessed with the slushies! Sometimes we go just for that :)

  • Sarah

    Annie, do you need the jam? Anything else that you can substitute? Can’t wait to try these!

  • Meghan

    Just made these for the 2nd time using Jonathon apples that we picked a couple of weeks ago. We go apple picking almost every weekend, so I’m always looking for new recipes (the kids are getting tired of applesauce!), and this one is really delicious. It tastes like an apple pie, but since my pie crusts come out disgusting, it’s a much better bet for me to make!! I’m going to try the Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie this week, but I’ll have to use Jonathons as well, so hopefully that works out, too!
    Love your website, everything I’ve tried has been awesome!

  • Jordan

    I just made these for a cookie exchange and they were a hit! They tasted just like apple pie. One alternation I did make is that I added more cinnamon. Also they were messy when I cut them so I think I needed to chill them/cool them longer. SO delicious!

  • Jordan

    I just made these for a cookie exchange and they were a hit! They tasted just like apple pie. One alternation I did make is that I added more cinnamon. Also they were messy when I cut them so I think I needed to chill them/cool them longer. SO delicious!

  • I just made these and didn’t have enough butter (I only had 1 stick) So I subbed 3 oz cream cheese for half the butter in the crust and used my food processor to combine the crust. Then followed the rest of the recipe. SO INCREDIBLY easy, and super tasty! Give it a try with cream cheese, you won’t be sorry!

  • Guest

    I made these tonight for the second time. I took a cue from you and made a thinner crust by using a 9″ x 13″ pan. For the filling I used 6 large Golden Delicious apples . I adjusted the sugar for the extra apples. This time I used half brown sugar (for a slight caramel taste and color) and half granulated sugar. I added some cinnamon to the topping. I baked it all for close to 45 minutes (or a little more). I just had a dish of it–wish I’d gone downstairs to the deep freezer for some vanilla ice cream–and was very pleased with how it turned out. Now I need to freeze it in individual containers for hubby’s work snack before I eat it all by morning!

  • Bajagard

    Do you think this could be made with the “fake” sugar instead. I have a friend that cannot have sugar-but loves apples.

  • annieseats

    The only way to know is to experiment. Good luck!

  • Emily

    Just made these yesterday with freshly picked apples. They were soooo delicious. As satisfying as apple pie, but so much easier! Can’t say how much I love your blog. We regularly use your recipes, and we’re never disappointed!!! Your recipes are some of our favorites for sure.

  • annieseats

    Yay! So glad you enjoyed them :)

  • Olive Oil

    wow. i’ve just tried it. it is amazing. thanks for sharing

  • Sha

    Hi Annie! I love your blog and your recipes. I tried this recipe and I used peach mango jam and it was wonderful. Everyone loved it! My sister hid the leftovers from her husband so she wouldn’t have to share :) Thanks so much!

  • lynn

    Hi! This recipe is awesome! I decided to make it in a 8X8 square pan so it would be thicker. I also just sprayed my pan with cooking spray instead of lining it with foil or whatever. These bars are addicting! :-))))) Soooo yummy….

  • Linda Yeng

    Hi! Besides your always-good recipe. I also like the food-photos. Do you use any additional flash-light? The use of lighting is just nice on the photos you took.

  • annieseats

    Thanks Linda! I use natural light in my photos. I used to try to use various flash options but have given up – nothing beats natural light.