This week I was craving the flavors of apple pie, without having to make the whole pie from scratch! Also, I wanted to keep filling my freezer with individually wrapped frozen, gluten-free treats for the Fall. Most of what I’ve baked and frozen over the past month is already almost gone. I also love baking with green, tart apples like Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, and making gooey apple pie filling. These gluten-free apple pie bars also happen to be nut-free (though you could add some chopped up walnuts or pecans if you wanted). Best of all, these bars contain the yummiest part of apple pie in my opinion – the filling!
My first step to making the “base” of the apple pie bars, was to combine the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, gluten-free whole rolled oats, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. The second step was the wet ingredients: an egg, mashed banana, and vegetable oil. I mixed the dry and wet ingredients separately in their bowls, but did not combine the two bowls yet (you’ll see why in a moment).
For the gooey and delicious “pie” topping, I began by peeling two Golden Delicious apples, and chopping them into small pieces.
Once all of the apple was chopped and in a bowl, I sprinkled the apple pie spices on top – a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. To add a little more flavor and chewiness to the bars, I poured some golden raisins into the mix. Last, I grabbed two small spoonfuls from the dry ingredients bowl (this is why I had not mixed in the wet ingredients yet) and mixed it into the apple/raisin mixture until it was lightly coated, so that all the yummy bits wouldn’t sink to the bottom of the bars.
For the base of the bars, I finally combined the wet ingredients and dry ingredients bowls and mixed well. I poured the dough base into an 8×8 square pan that I had sprayed with cooking spray. The dough was pretty sticky, so I got out a butter knife to spread it around.
The next part was the fun part – pouring the spiced apple and raisin mixture onto the batter. I spread the yummy apples evenly over the surface of the dough, but I did not press it into the surface – I wanted the apples to be on top, not in the dough. I wasn’t finished yet, either. Every good apple pie needs topping! In a small bowl, I combined a simple mixture of brown sugar, gluten-free flour, and a few teaspoons of “butter” from the tub. I sprinkled the buttery-sugary topping on top of the apples.
The pan went into the oven for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees. When the apple pie bars come out of the oven, the top will look a little wet from the melted gooey topping. This makes it honestly feel like you are eating apple pie filling here! I let the bars cool for a bit before cutting the bars into 12 large squares. The bottom bar part has the taste and feel of a banana bread (a very mild banana taste, too), and the gooey yummy apple pie filling on top is simply delicious!
Gluten-Free Apple Pie Bars
• 1 cup of gluten-free flour
• ¼ cup of gluten-free whole rolled oats
• ½ teaspoon of baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon of salt
• ½ cup of brown sugar
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup of ripe mashed banana (about ¾ of a banana)
• ¼ cup of vegetable oil
• 2 Golden Delicious or other tart apple, peeled and chopped
• ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon of ginger
• 1/8 teaspoon of allspice
• ¼ cup of golden raisins
• 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon of gluten-free flour
• 2 teaspoons of butter or butter/margarine spread
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together in one bowl, the gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. In a second bowl, mix together the egg, mashed banana, and vegetable oil. Peel and chop the two apples into small pieces and add to a third bowl. Add to the bowl of apples, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and golden raisins. From the bowl of dry ingredients, scoop a few small spoonfuls of the flour mixture out and stir into the apple/raisin bowl, until apple mixture is lightly coated (to prevent all the toppings from sinking). Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients for the base of the bars, and pour into an 8×8 square pan sprayed with cooking spray. Dough will be sticky; use a butter knife to spread around until the bottom of the pan is covered. Then, pour the apple mixture on top of the dough in the pan and distribute the apples evenly on top of the dough. Last, to make the topping, mix together the brown sugar, gluten-free flour, and butter, and sprinkle on top of the apples. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the crust comes out clean. Cool in pan, then slice into squares.