We just went down to Kansas to visit some relatives, including a great grandma who is 92 years old! I wanted to bring a treat that could feed 15 people, that could be made ahead, and that could withstand an 8-hour drive in the car. Apple pie is a family favorite this time of year, but making several pies and bringing them in the car didn't make sense -- until I came across a recipe for Glazed Apple Pie Bars.
This recipe serves 36 and is basically a flat apple pie baked in a 15 x1 inch pan. Perfect!
Start by making the crust. First, beat the egg yolk and milk together and set aside. Remember to save the separated egg white for later.
Next, combine the flour and salt with a fork, then add the cold butter, cut into chunks.
Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter as shown, or in a food processor. This takes only a minute or two. If you're using a cutter, scrape it off with the back side of a butter knife as it accumulates butter.
You are finished when the butter resembles coarse crumbs.
Now, simply add the egg and milk mixture and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
Once it has come together and the dry bits are all mixed in, pick it up with your hands and form it into a ball. Then, divide into two balls. If it's too dry, you can add up to 1 Tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Add only the moisture that is needed to gather the dough into a ball.
Roll out the first half of the dough. It was tricky to get the square shape, so I rolled it as close as I could and then used my fingers to press it into more of a rectangle.
Now, fold the dough in half and then into quarters.
Then, carefully move it to your 10 x 15 inch pan and unfold.
Gently press the crust into the pan, getting it to the edges or as close as you can without creating holes.
Crush the cornflakes. I used a sandwich-size plastic bag and just pounded it with my fist. Be sure to get most of the air out of the bag, otherwise you'll 'pop' it when you pound it! You could be more civilized and roll over it with a rolling pin. Whatever you do, don't get too rough or you might break the bag.
Now simply sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on the bottom crust.
If you haven't already peeled and sliced the apples, put the crust in the fridge now. I went ahead and rolled out my second crust, folded it in quarters, wrapped it loosely in plastic and put it in the fridge as well.
So, now, the apples! Seeing what was available at my market this week, I picked granny smiths. Begin by peeling the 8-10 medium apples. I timed myself and found it took me less than 30 seconds to peel one apple. It was good to know it really doesn't take that long!
Instead of coring the apples, I just cut off half ...
... then cut off the other half. You'll end up with a couple ends to cut off, too, which will leave you with a square piece which is basically the core.
The great thing about this method is that all the pieces are in the perfect shape to cut into half moons. Just lay the pieces on their flat side and slice!
Once you have 8 cups of apples, simple pour them out and spread them around on top of the corn flakes.
Next, mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together and sprinkle it over the apples.
Then, unfold the top crust and press it onto the top of the spiced apples.
I used my hands to gently press down and get the dough to the edges of the pan.
Wow! It's like a giant flat pie that cuts into 36 pieces! Next, beat the egg white with a fork until it's foamy, and then brush it on top of the crust.
The final step before baking is to sprinkle the top with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Then, pop it into the oven!
While the bars are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. When my mixture was smooth, I drizzled a little of the glaze onto a piece of paper, to test the consistency and also for a small amount of practice. After all, I was going to see my grandma!
Be ready to be amazed when you pull your pan out of the oven.While still warm, drizzle the bars diagonally with the glaze. Beautiful!
When the bars were completely cool, I covered them with plastic loosely. Eight hours in the car later, we arrived (about 11 pm!) and placed our tempting pan of bars on the kitchen counter before heading off to bed. My uncle warned about 'gremlins' who sometimes sneak into the kitchen at night, but in the morning we found the bars in tact. My aunt had already cut them and was waiting patiently!
Though it was not my plan to eat the bars for breakfast, it seemed no one could wait, so we served them up with fresh cut fruit and cereal. They came out of the pan with amazing ease and looked fabulous.
Everyone loved the crust and the apple filling, which did seem a perfect fit for breakfast after all. They were also delicious later at lunch, and my aunt cut the final two pieces into slivers for breakfast the next morning.
It turned out to be a wonderful recipe for traveling, and we all enjoyed the time with Great Grandma, my aunt and uncle and, of course, the cousins.
If you have a family or school gathering coming up, these Glazed Apple Pie Bars are certain to be a hit. If you try them, I'd love to hear about your experience.
Check back in a few days when Becky makes stuffed pasta shells -- possibly the perfect entrée to go with your apple bars!
Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.