apple pie streusel tart with shortbread crust

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Apple season is here! This is the perfect recipe if making a pie still seems daunting to you like it is for me.

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Apple Pie Streusel Bars
Slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Shortbread Crust
3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar *I used 1/8 cup NuNaturals MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour of choice

Apple Filling
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)*
2 tablespoons flour of choice
1 tablespoon brown sugar, raw coconut sugar, or other sugar of choice
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup flour of choice
1/8 cup (aka 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
a little bit of olive oil if it is not coming together

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.

Make the apple filling:Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

Make the streusel:Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two knives (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350F degrees. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Once cut, pour salted caramel sauce on top. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm or cold. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

*I like to use two different kinds of apples for a more complex flavor (for example, 1 tart apple variety such as Granny Smith, and 1 sweeter apple variety such as Pink Lady)

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