Josh started a tradition with the girls that when I would go out of town for a girl's weekend he would take the kids to an apple orchard. After year two, I put a halt to that. No more going with out me! So now every year we both take the girls and the same things happen every year... the girls jump on Josh's shoulders to pick the highest apples, they all try climbing the trees (including Josh - Shh... don't tell anyone) and the girls taste test more than a few. We come home with a huge bag of apples of all different sorts. I have no idea what we pick and that's ok!
The first few years I just made apple sauce and then, sadly the apples got tossed. Seriously, I know - it's terrible. This year I am bound and determined to use every apple. And...sometimes that means making a triple batch (shown below) of apple crisp bars to bring to Grandma Boot's to share!
10 T. of butter, softened
2 T. white sugar
2 T. light brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 Jumbo Apples, peeled and cut into small chunks*
2 T. All purpose flour
4 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*you need a decent amount of apples - don't skimp on them! If you have smaller apples up the quantity!
Crumbly Crust Topping
3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 T. butter
1/4 C. rolled oats
Start with making the shortbread crust:
preheat oven to 350
Line or grease an 8X8 pan
Mix sugar, high brown sugar and butter & vanilla until its combined
Slowly fold in flour and sugar until you get a crumbly dough.
Press dough into bottom of pan
Bake for 12-14 minutes. You want the crust to be lightly brown. You don't want it undercook because when its slightly crunchy it adds a great texture to the bars!
Prepare Apple Filling:
Peeling and dice apples in small-ish chunks
Combined apples chunks with flour, light brown sugar & cinnamon in a bowl. If you let it sit a few minutes while the crust bakes, you going to start to get a delicious syrup developing in the bottom of the bowl!
Once shortbread layer is ready, spread the apples of the shortbread layer
Prepare Crumbly, Crisp Topping:
Put all the ingredients into dish and cut in butter until crumbly using a pastry cutter.
Once, nice and crumbly, evenly spread the topping over the apples
Bake for 45 minutes or until the top because golden.
Serve warm or cooled. And optional, well... not really, top with caramel ice creaming topping and whipped cream. Or, get a little more wild and top with vanilla bean ice cream!