Spiced Apple & Mixed Fruit Crumble Bars
The [slushy] leaves are on the floor, the weather has cooled considerably and the heating is on. All those things that give you that warm fuzzy feeling you get and the urge to kick off your rain soaked shoes, swap for slippers and jump in front of the fire with a steaming hot cup of cocoa complete with marshmallows.
But for the sugar fiend that I am, hot chocolate and marshmallows aren’t enough, I need comfort food too. And sugar = comfort food. As apples are very much in season, I wanted to do something with apples. Apple pie and apple crumble came to mind but I wanted something different.
That’s where the spiced apple and mixed fruit crumble bars made their entrance. Perfectly sandwiched between two crumble layers hides thin slices of autumn spiced apples and mixed dried fruit. I placed cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cornflour (cornstarch) in a bowl then the apple slices got completely coated. If you want that extra winter/Christmas feeling, you could even soak the dried fruits in brandy too! *squeals* I also decided that, like apple pies, I’d place a little sugar on the top before baking. Not ordinary sugar though, cinnamon sugar, baby!
These bars also create the most amazing aroma in the house too. Who needs seasonal air fresheners when you can bake? Not me!
Spiced Apple & Mixed Fruit Crumble Bars Recipe
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:30-40 mins
Yield: 12 bars
- 200g (7oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (9oz) light brown sugar
- 120g (4oz) rolled oats
- 300g (10½oz) apples
- 4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 175g (6oz) mixed fruits (or substitute with whatever fruit you like. e.g. apple and cranberries would be awesome too!)
- Preheat the oven to 170℃/325℉/Gas Mark 3, and line a 22 x 31cm (9 x 12½in) tray with baking parchment.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, add the butter and rub together until the consistency of breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and rolled oats. If you prefer, you can mix together the dry ingredients with the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, then stir in the sugar and oats by hand. After mixing, press half the mixture into the prepared tray, set aside.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut into thin slices and mix together with the cornflour (cornstarch) and ground spices. Place the spice-coated apple slices in lines on the top of the oat mixture in the base of the tray, then sprinkle over the mixed fruit. Spoon the remaining mix over the apples and mixed fruits and press down gently.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown. Allow to cool completely in the baking tray before cutting into slices to serve.
As an optional extra, I decided to sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on the top oat mixture layer before placing in the oven to give that extra cinnamon kick.
Adapted from Cake Days book
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