I feel it can be difficult sometimes to come up with new and unique recipes, don’t you? Sometimes it just seems that everything that could be made has been made! That’s why you have to make sure you start your brainstorming and cooking process with some brain juice first:
In all seriousness though I was getting kind of frustrated about what kind of treat to make for the office this week when I ran across a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine for “Crack Pie” which sounds like a custard pie in an oatmeal cookie crust. Genius I say! And whereas there’s no way a pie would make enough to feed a hungry office, I loved the idea for the oat cookie crust. And the idea of Deep Dish Caramelized Apple Oatmeal Bars was born!
First you need apples…lots of apples. I don’t know the poundage on this, but I had 5 HUGE Granny Smith apples…and I wish I’d bought more. I would say overall a good 6-8 apples will be good for this dish. They’ll be cooking down, so don’t get scared. Get excited.
These are the ingredients for the oat cookie crust from the Crack Pie recipe, only doubled since the final product was going to be in a 9×13 pan (I also added about 1 Tbsp of cinnamon).
The original recipe is a little more involved, but I just creamed the butter and sugars, added the eggs, and then added the dry ingredients. Press into a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Now for the apples. They need to be peeled and sliced into thin slices. You can toss with a bit of lemon juice if you’re anal concerned about them browning, but I didn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t think the acidity would do well with the caramelization. I have no way to prove that of course, I’m just sayin’ 😉
It’s true though…I went a little overboard with the caramel and therefore didn’t get it to the deep golden color I would have liked. HOWEVER, it’s still tasty and in my mind that’s what really matters anyway. That being said, I’m going to give you the measurements you SHOULD use and not the measurements I used.
Take one stick of butter (don’t be scared, this isn’t 8 sticks…just 2 cut into eighths) and melt it over low heat.
Cook for about 10 minutes or until the butter-sugar combo starts to brown. NOW is when you can stir…and stirstirstir you must! Stir for about 3 minutes to combine, then dump your apples in. Very carefully combine the apples and the butter and sugar.
Let this cook down, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, crumble up the oat cookie crust and press it up along the sides of the pan as well as the bottom. When the apples are tender, pour the apple mixture into the crust. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.
But I couldn’t get it out of the pan very well and make it look pretty. No clean lines in this bad boy!
So here’s the finished product…and even though it has a super fancy name, it’s basically an upside-down apple crisp.