As sad as I am to see summer go, I do have a few key fall things that I’m super excited for, including: new boots!, butternut squash recipes, hikes, and apple-picking! Last year we found a local-ish winery that also includes apple-picking and picnicking (best combo idea, ever), so we went back again this year. Nashoba Valley Winery has just about everything: wine tours and tastings, beer tastings, cheese and crackers, apple cider donuts, lovely land with a small pond and a nice view – they even host weddings. You can pack your own picnic (bread and cheese are really all I need), or try some of the ready-made items they sell in their little shop, such as crackers, cheese, apple cider donuts, hot dogs, etc. The place is over-run (in a good way) with babies, dogs, and 20-30 somethings on a weekend, but it’s a lovely spot to bring friends and enjoy the crisp fall weather. I went last weekend, and between wine tastings and cheese boards, I managed to fill up a big bag with macintosh, galas, liberty, and Cortland apples. I’m super excited for my baking prospects for the rest of the fall!
As soon as I got home, I got started on some homemade applesauce. It’s so easy, makes a big batch, and is absolutely delicious, and in my opinion so much better than applesauce from the store. I just love the apple chunks and warm fall spices mixed in.
I was looking to find a new recipe to try. First I checked King Arthur Flour, as they always have great baking recipes. After I pinned a few apple recipes to try that looked good but took a bit more time than I had on hand that day, I settled on these Apple Pie Bars. When you Google ‘apple pie bars’ you get recipes that are more along the lines of a cookie-bar (solid and shaped like a brownie), but the KAF recipe is more like a rustic tart or a Danish. It’s like an apple pie, but in rectangular form and cut into slabs. (isn’t slab a weird word?)
I personally thought the recipe didn’t make enough dough for the size crust they suggested (17″ x 7″ rectangle). I had a hard time stretching my dough to that large size, and had to concede to something closer to 15.5” which was also rather thin. I personally enjoy a thick bottom crust on apple pie, so I was disappointed that this recipe didn’t provide that. I would increase the flour if I decide to make this again. But it’s still great to try something new, and the flavors didn’t disappoint, so that’s still a win. On to the next recipe!
Rustic Apple Pie Tart
It’s like an apple pie, but in rectangular form and cut into slabs.
Prep Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time: 27 – 29 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 9 minutes
Yield: 6-8 slices
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- about 6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced baking apples
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon all-spice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Start by making the crust: Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and mix into the flour using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or even your hands. If using your hands, be careful not to soften the butter too much, as it’s best for the butter to be cold. Mix until the dough is crumbly.
- Add in the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time. After adding in 4 tablespoons of water, combine the dough into a ball using a spatula. If it won’t come together well, add more water until it’s a firm ball of dough.
- Form the dough into two rectangles, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425*F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment.
- To make the filling: Mix all the ingredients except the egg, honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and granulated sugar.
- Roll one piece of pastry into a 16″ x 6″ rectangle. Trim the edges if needed to make a straight-edged rectangle. Roll the second piece into a 17″ x 7″ rectangle, trimming again if needed.
- Place the smaller rectangle on the baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Spread the filling over the pastry, leaving 3/4″-wide bare edges.
- Center the other, large piece of dough over the apples and press the edges down. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Brush with the egg wash, and cut several vents on top, to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, then top with honey, cinnamon, and sugar. Enjoy!