Happy Birthday, America!  I made you a pie!  Well, pie bars, anyway.

For the Fourth, there are those menu items that are “must haves” for any crowd.  Grilled meats, potato or pasta salad, and apple pie.  There are those things that just make us think of a traditional July 4th, aren’t there?  I mean, I think I might just turn around and go in search of another gathering if some version of those offerings weren’t on the buffet table.  But what is REALLY so American about those things?  Or is it the nostalgia of our childhood telling us to expect those foods?  For instance, what about that whole “as American as apple pie” saying? Where did that come from in the first place?

Well, all you have to do is Google the question and pretty much the same story comes forth.  While apples aren’t indigenous to the U.S., they became so widespread (thanks, Johnny Appleseed!) that their hearty & sustainable nature, ability to feed a hungry nation, and ease of use in things like pies made them popular across the country.

Apple Pie Bars

As a result, I feel like it would be un-American NOT to have an apple dessert at a 4th of July celebration. My nostalgia gets the best of me every holiday. Luckily for me, I came across this super easy and delicious recipe from Love Grows Wild.  Her Apple Pie Bars are just the thing for a hungry holiday crowd!

Granny Smith Apples

So get yourself a bushel of apples (Granny Smith are my favorite!), and get baking!  Celebrate the 4th with tradition, apple pie and everything else nostalgia has to offer!

 

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Apple Pie Bars Filled
Apple Pie Bars
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Confession: I admit to taking a couple shortcuts from the original recipe. First, I used store bought pie dough. (gasp!) Second, I omitted the vanilla glaze. (double gasp!) Both were done to make the process a little shorter, and a little less messy for a hand held dessert. If you plan on serving these to kiddos, meant for grabbing and running off with it in hand, the glaze may wind up in places you don't want. However, if you are a baker by nature, I am sure the homemade dough would be wonderful, and a vanilla glaze is always a winner. Either way, it's a tasty treat!
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
50-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
50-60 minutes
Apple Pie Bars Filled
Apple Pie Bars
Print Recipe
Confession: I admit to taking a couple shortcuts from the original recipe. First, I used store bought pie dough. (gasp!) Second, I omitted the vanilla glaze. (double gasp!) Both were done to make the process a little shorter, and a little less messy for a hand held dessert. If you plan on serving these to kiddos, meant for grabbing and running off with it in hand, the glaze may wind up in places you don't want. However, if you are a baker by nature, I am sure the homemade dough would be wonderful, and a vanilla glaze is always a winner. Either way, it's a tasty treat!
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
50-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
50-60 minutes
Ingredients
Apple Filling
Apple Bar Topping
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom of 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
    Apple Pie Bar Ingredients
  2. Peel, core, and dice apples into bite-sized pieces.
    Cored Apples
  3. Add lemon juice to apples and toss to coat (this will help prevent browning while you prepare the rest of the filling, and give a nice additional tang to the already tart apples). Add vanilla and toss to coat.
    Diced Granny Smith Apples
  4. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg) to ensure they are fully incorporated.
    Sifting Apple Pie Bar Spices
  5. Add spice mixture to apples.
    Spices into Apples
  6. Toss apples to coat completely with spice mixture.
    Apple Pie Bar Filling
  7. Roll out first pie crust and place in bottom of baking dish. Top with apple mixture.
    Apple Pie Bars Filled
  8. Top apple mixture with additional pie crust, tucking in sides to create a barrier for the apples so that they don't bubble up too much during baking.
    Apple Pie Bar Dough
  9. Brush the top of the crust with egg white. This will help create a brown, crusty top.
    Egg Wash on Apple Pie Bar Dough
  10. Sprinkle additional spice mixture over top of egg wash.
    Apple Pie Bar Spices
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't over bake (as my oven is prone to do).
    Baked Apple Pie Bars
  12. If serving hot (which is soooo good, btw), be sure to have some vanilla ice cream handy!
    Apple Pie Bar & Ice Cream
  13. If not serving immediately, allow to cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill. Cut into 12 pieces and allow the stampede to grab 'em and go!
    Apple Pie Bar
Recipe Notes

What I love about this particular recipe is that you could use any stone fruit in place of the apples.  Pears, peaches, plums or other fruit that hold up to baking would be great substitutes.  That means that whatever may be in season can be in your hot little hands in no time!

Apple Pie Bars

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