Apple season is here!
Crisp air, cool breezes, colorful leaves drifting to the ground, aromatic spices like cinnamon and cloves, and seasonal treats!
I love apple spice and pumpkin spice, but apple spice is hands-down my favorite.
The Story Behind My Love For Apple Pie
My mom made a beautiful apple pie from scratch when I was a little girl. She’s no longer here, so I hold on to that memory. I can still taste that delectable, cinnamon apple filling!
She taught me how to make the apple pie filling and put the pastry dough ingredients into the food processor for her. I loved learning it all!And then she would roll out the dough and carefully place it over the top of the filling.
To be honest, I rarely make pies anymore. I do love to bake, but I don't often have the time to make a festive pie, crust perfectly formed over the filling.
So the next best thing?
Grain-Free Apple Pie Shortbread Bars!
There’s just something about that delectable, buttery shortbread crust paired with perfectly cooked spiced apples and streusel-like crumbly topping. Swoon!
These apple pie shortbread bars are such a special treat! Each member of my family loves devouring their own square.
I like to serve them slightly warm so we can enjoy their freshly-baked texture and aroma. If we’re feeling extra fancy, we might even enjoy a square à la mode with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.
The next day, we eat them cold out of the fridge. I often have my square with breakfast. So much fun!
Head to your local U-pick apple orchard or farmers market and grab yourself some crisp, seasonal apples. Then make these special apple pie shortbread bars for your loved ones!
Grain-Free Apple Pie Shortbread Bars With Crumb Topping
Imagine a homemade, buttery shortbread crust paired with spiced apple pie filling and a streusel-like crumb topping... Awesome, right?! These are the best apple pie shortbread bars because they're healthy (both gluten-free AND grain-free), and so easy! Double this recipe and you'll have enough for a crowd. Or, are you feeling extra fancy? Enjoy them à la mode with vanilla ice cream!
For The Shortbread Crust:
For The Apple Filling:
For The Crumb Topping:
- 1/4 remaining shortbread dough see recipe instructions, below
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the shortbread crust...
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a square baking dish (8x8" or 9x9") with unbleached parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cassava flour, maple sugar, and salt.
Add the cubed butter. Give it a stir to coat the butter with the flour mixture, then using clean hands, mix the ingredients together until fully combined and crumbly. Do not overmix.
Pour 3/4 of the shortbread mixture into the lined baking pan, reserving the remaining 1/4 shortbread mixture for the crumb topping.
Using your hands, press and flatten the shortbread mixture into the bottom of the baking pan forming an even layer about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake the shortbread for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the edges are light golden brown.
Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes.
To make the apple filling...
While the shortbread is baking or cooling, combine cubed apples, lemon juice, cassava flour, and spices in a medium saucepan or pot.
Stir quickly to coat the apples, then add the maple syrup.
Cook the apples over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until the apples have become softer. Remove from the heat.
Pour the apple filling on top of the baked shortbread and spread out in an even layer.
To make the crumb topping...
Add cinnamon to reserved 1/4 shortbread mixing. Stir to incorporate.
Use your hands to evenly distribute this crumbly shortbread topping over the top of the apple filling.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is slightly golden brown.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 25 minutes before serving.
Cut apple pie shortbread into squares. Enjoy warm, room temperature or chilled.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Do you have a favorite between pumpkin spice or apple spice? Will you try these Grain-Free Apple Pie Shortbread Bars?
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