I still remember being ten years old and thinking being fourteen was a very big deal. And now I'm nineteen, and I can probably recall a time when I thought that being nineteen was a very very big deal but really, it's nothing much. I don't feel very much wiser or anything.
Well, my dad turned fifty just a few days ago and to me, that's a supermassively big deal!!! I can barely even imagine turning twenty-five, let alone twice that. I wonder how he feels. We just had a huge birthday dinner for him, which involved melt-in-your-mouth wagyu (!!!), lots of sashimi, and of course, chocolate cake. I fell into a massive food coma right after.
My dad is the kind of person who is very clear about what he likes and doesn't, in terms of food. He has an undying love for beef, baked goods with apples, oatmeal-raisin anything, and Spinelli's original spin/fruitti berry smoothie. On the other hand, he is allergic to eggs; the reaction being that of extreme disgust. It's rather sad, for eggs are a breakfast staple of mine and my mom's, but he can't even stand the smell of them! I guess it's a good thing that these apple pie crumb bars have no trace of eggs in them at all. Tiong Bahru's apple crumble is one of his favourite desserts, so I tried making something like it for him.
These apple pie crumb bars were intensely buttery and there was a lovely contrast between the soft, almost-gooey apples and crunchy crumble on top! The use of rolled oats for the crumb topping gave it a nice bite, and it all baked up wonderfully. The shortbread crust provided a good, stable base for the whole thing, and it all held up pretty well. The only thing I think this needed was a hint of cinnamon. I had to leave the cinnamon out as my family isn't a fan of cinnamon (except for my dad and I), and I tried to make this as family-friendly as possible. If you do make this though, I would highly recommend adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to your apple filling and a quarter-teaspoon of it into your crumb topping!!
Apple Pie Crumb Bars
For the Crust:
❆ 115g melted butter
❆ 30g granulated sugar
❆ 1 tsp vanilla extract
❆ 125g all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius. Butter and line your 8x8 baking pan. Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together. Add the flour and mix until well-combined. Press the mixture evenly into your baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
For the Apple Filling:
❆ 2 large (!!) apples
❆ 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
❆ 2 tbsp brown/granulated sugar
Peel and core your apples, and cut them up into little cubes. Toss them together with the flour and sugar, until all the apples are evenly coated.
For the Crumb Topping:
❆ 40g rolled oats
❆ 30g all-purpose flour
❆ 40g brown sugar
❆ 60g butter, cubed
Whisk the oats, flour and sugar together. Using your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients under the mixture until no more dry ingredients can be seen, and the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
To assemble, layer the apple filling atop the crust, and press the apples down lightly. Sprinkle/crumble the crumb mixture over it. Bake for 30-35 minutes, and rejoice in the glorious smell.
adapted from sallysbakingaddiction