I know I just did Apple Pie Cookies last week, but this time of year I feel like you really can’t have too many apple flavored desserts. I have to tell you, these Caramel Apple Crumb Bars are seriously, ridiculously, eat-way-too-many-straight-from-the-pan good. I’ve tried out a couple of other apple bar recipes that have been disappointing, but these bars more than make up for all the practice rounds it took to get here.
The recipe includes a homemade caramel sauce, which is really good, but if you’re tight on time and don’t want to mess around with making caramel you could just use some store-bought caramel sauce. I would definitely recommend the homemade caramel, but it’ll be delicious either way!
Caramel Apple Crumb Bars
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes
- 5 cups peeled and diced apples (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 tbl. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. all-spice
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Gather all the ingredients to make the caramel. Start by heating the sugar over medium-high heat in a 2-3 quart saucepan. When it starts to melt, begin whisking the sugar until it is completely melted, then stop whisking. Swirl the pan occasionally to move the sugar around and continue cooking until the sugar reaches 350 degrees and is a dark amber color. Carefully add the butter (the mixture might splatter) and whisk until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Whisk until the caramel is smooth then add the salt. Pour the caramel into a bowl or jar and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil.
- Place the diced apples in a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice. Sprinkle over the apples and stir until combined, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter or food processor to cut in the butter. Mix the egg and vanilla together in a small bowl, then pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine; the dough will be very crumbly. Press half the dough into the prepared pan.
- Spread the apple mixture evenly over the bottom crust, then drizzle about 3/4 cup of caramel over the apples. Crumble the rest of the dough over the caramel apple layer.
- Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and then cut into squares. Drizzle about 1/2 cup of caramel sauce over the squares and serve. Store the remaining caramel in the fridge.