Apple Pie Bars
Yields 12 bars
For the Crust:
-1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
-¾ cup sugar
-½ cup brown sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-4 cups all purpose flour
-1 ½ tsp kosher salt
-½ cup rolled oats (reserved for topping)
-1 tsp cinnamon (reserved for topping)
For the Filling:
-1 ½ lbs (3 large) granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ⅛ inch thick
-1 ½ lbs (3 large) golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ⅛ inch thick
-2 Tbls lemon juice
-¼ cup sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-⅛ tsp nutmeg
-4 Tbls (½ stick) unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment. To make the crust, place the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for two minutes, until light and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together, and with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until combined. Scatter ⅔ of the dough into the prepared baking dish and with floured hands press out the dough to form a crust, pushing the dough ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and then bake for 18-20 minutes until it is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining ⅓ dough back on the mixer and add the rolled oats and cinnamon. Mix to combine and set aside.
To make the filling, combine both apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven (or other large sturdy pot) and then add the apples. Simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Spread the apples evenly over the cooled crust, leaving a ½ inch border.
Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples. (Do not worry if the apples are not completely covered.) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares.