These bars taste just like your Grandma’s best apple crumble recipe! An oat-brown sugar cookie crust, soft-baked cinnamon apples, and a crisp cinnamon sugar streusel!
I woke up this morning to a certain chill in the air. A chill that reminded me of yellow aspen leaves and cider stalls . . . apple picking and pumpkin fests.
How is it possible for a season to so affect my soul? As soon as Fall arrives, my spirit lifts, life seems more full, and suddenly I find the time to celebrate everything of the season.
And baking. Baking in the fall is the same as baking in the winter or the spring or the summer. But somehow it’s not. Fall baking is this magical world of cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg. And it is a cozy, comfy world filled with snuggly sweaters and warm blankets. And pumpkins with personalities ranging from happy to frightening.
Tell me how I live in this world forever?
Apple Crumble Bar Hints
This recipe uses cornstarch to absorb moisture released by the apples when they are baking. Other methods include cooking down the fruit ahead of time by simmering the fruit before adding it to a baked good. Any time you consider swapping out a fruit in a baked recipe, it is worth comparing the water content of the two fruits. For example, tart apples, as used in this recipe for apple bars, are about 85% water by weight. If I was considering swapping for an equal weight of raspberries (85% water) or pears (84% water), then I’d likely be able to since the same amount of water will be released and I’ll need the same amount of cornstarch to thicken the fruit. But if I was considering swapping for an equal weight of strawberries (92% water), then I will probably need slightly more fruit and more cornstarch to replace and absorb the excess moisture released during baking.
A crumble is usually used to refer to a streusel-like mixture of butter, flour, and sugar. A crisp was typically used to refer to a similar topping that also had oats. The distinction has waned over time and has never actually made sense to me since a streusel is also “crisp” like an oat topping. These bars have a crumble crust and a streusel (crisp) topping. So this recipe could be called apple crumble bars or apple crisp bars!
If you’re thinking of converting a bar recipe, just consider the area of the pan you’re using when deciding whether you need to make a 1/3 batch, 1/2 batch, etc. So this recipe for apple crumble bars uses a 9″x13″ pan, which has 117 square inches. If I only wanted to make an 8″x8″ pan, which has 64 square inches, then I would need to halve the recipe. (Noting that, because the pan has just slightly more than half the area, a half recipe of bars will be spread just a tad more thinly.) I have halved this recipe many times for an 8″x8″ pan and it just means that the crust, apple layer, and streusel are slightly thinner/shorter layers.
If you make these Apple Crumble Bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! I love looking through the photos of recipes you all have made!