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apple pie shortbread bars with an assortment of apples and cinnamon sticks

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!

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 52 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 22 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Author Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

Ingredients

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

Instructions

To make the shortbread crust...

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Line a square baking dish (8x8" or 9x9") with unbleached parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cassava flour, maple sugar, and salt.

  4. 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.

  5. Pour 3/4 of the shortbread mixture into the lined baking pan, reserving the remaining 1/4 shortbread mixture for the crumb topping.

  6. 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.

  7. Bake the shortbread for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the edges are light golden brown.

  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the apple filling...

  1. While the shortbread is baking or cooling, combine cubed apples, lemon juice, cassava flour, and spices in a medium saucepan or pot.

  2. Stir quickly to coat the apples, then add the maple syrup.

  3. Cook the apples over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until the apples have become softer. Remove from the heat.

  4. Pour the apple filling on top of the baked shortbread and spread out in an even layer.

To make the crumb topping...

  1. Add cinnamon to reserved 1/4 shortbread mixing. Stir to incorporate.

  2. Use your hands to evenly distribute this crumbly shortbread topping over the top of the apple filling.

  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is slightly golden brown.

  4. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 25 minutes before serving.

  5. Cut apple pie shortbread into squares. Enjoy warm, room temperature or chilled.

  6. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.