I woke up early Sunday, couldn't get back to sleep, so got up and moving. The garden was calling me so I went out and cleared out the summer plants, weeded and worked up the dirt. I tore out the sunflowers, saving the flower heads to dry for the birds. It was still cool and quiet out, Harley and the birds were my only company. It was very therapeutic. My yard is now ready for fall planting. It was a productive morning and I'm a week ahead of my self-imposed schedule!
While out in the yard I picked the last of our apples from the espalier tree. Even though it's 100 degrees today, I felt like baking an apple pie. My Hubby arrived home today after being away for nine days. I figure welcoming him home with a sweet treat will go a long way in getting some help with my gardening to-do's next weekend!
I love pie, any kind. But it's only two of us at home now, eating a whole pie isn't very good for us, unfortunately. I like to share my baked goods but pies are hard to share. Today I made apple pie bars. Basically, it's a pie, baked in a baking pan that can be cut into bars, easy to pass around, easy to transport, easily packed up for a picnic or office lunch.
One of the things I love most about fall is the smell of fall baking. Cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, pears, pumpkin, they fill the air with a very enticing aroma. This morning I had the air conditioning going full-blast while this pie was baking. I had to pretend it was fall. Soon I'll be eating apple pie with a cup of coffee or tea, today it was with an iced tea!
Apple Pie Bars
Pastry for 2-crust 10" pie
5 cups apples, peeled cored and diced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place diced apples in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, sugars and spice. Stir until evenly coated.
Divide pie dough crust into two equal pieces. Roll first portion into an approximate 13x9-inch rectangle. Roll dough onto rolling pin and transfer to 13x9-inch baking dish. Unroll and arrange dough in pan, cutting to fit, if necessary.
Carefully pour apples over dough.
Roll out the second piece of dough and transfer to baking dish, crimping edges to seal.
Cut vents in top of crust. Brush crust with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Let cool about 30 minutes before cutting into squares. If desired, drizzle with glaze.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Thin with additional milk if necessary and drizzle over bars.
**I keep a homemade apple spice mixture in my pantry. The recipe is here. If you don't have apple pie spice, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.