A perfect Fall snack or dessert, these squares used up my three apples, the handful of pecans (I seem to go through these very quickly) and the half pound of butter in the fridge. Sweet, crunchy, nutty crumble covering a layer of thinly sliced apples and cinnamon, all on top of a brown sugar pecan shortbread crust.
We had last minute dinner guests, so added some ice cream and we had dessert. Leftovers have been eaten with coffee today!
To begin with, in an 8" square pan, make and bake the pecan crust from the post Millionaires Bar with Rum Ganache and Pecan Shortbread Crust.
While the crust is baking, prepare the apples, and the crumble topping.
In the food processor used for grinding the pecans and flour for the crust, combine:
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 ounces butter, cubed
Process until you have a crumbly mixture that will form clumps if gently pressed together.
Set aside until needed.
Peel, core and thinly slice:
Toss the apples with:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Toss gently to combine.
When the pecan crust is baked and out of the oven, gently and evenly spread the apples over the crust.
Spread the crumble over the apples.
Place the pan into the oven, at 350F, and bake until the apple filling starts to bubble, and the crumble is crisp and golden, about 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before lifting the foil out of the pan, and cutting the shortbread into squares or bars. It can be eaten at room temperature, or warmed up again. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or as is.
- As with nuts in most recipes, they can be exchanged for other nuts; I wanted to use hazelnuts but was outvoted! Nuts that pair well with apples include hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts.
- I used Gala apples, and they were quite sweet, so I used a slightly heaped tablespoon of sugar in my filling. If you have a more tart apple, such as Granny Smith, consider adding the extra tablespoon of sugar.
- The apples can be sliced on a mandoline, or the slicer side of a box grater (which is what I did).
- Pears can be substituted for apples.
- Oats can be added to the crumble.