Caramel Apple Shortbread Crumble Bars
Serves: Makes 12 large bars
  • 3 C. Flour
  • ¾ C. Powdered Sugar
  • 1½ C. (3 sticks)Butter, softened
  • 3 very large Granny Smith Apples, cored, peeled, and sliced(1/8" thickness)
  • 1½ C. Sugar
  • ⅓ C. Water
  • ¾ C. Heavy Cream
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 t. Coarse Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with a large sheet of parchment paper. Press parchment down to fit up the sides...there should be excess parchment hanging out of the pan.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour and powdered sugar.
  4. Add the butter to the mixer in large cubes. Mix until the ingredients JUST form a dough. Do not overmix.
  5. Pat just under ⅔ of the dough into the parchment lined baking dish, smoothing out the top until it is an even thickness. Reserve the rest of the dough for the crumble.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  7. While the crust is baking, make the caramel apple filling.
  8. Mix together the water and sugar in a saucepan or saute pan.(I prefer to use saute pans because everything cooks quicker and it's easier to fit the apples in)
  9. Heat the sugar and water on medium heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  10. Bring the sugar to a boil(turn the heat up to high), brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming. When the sugar has caramelized to a nice, amber brown(this should take anywhere from 3-6 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your pan), add the apples to the caramel and stir constantly. The apples will release liquid when they hit the caramel and cause the caramel to harden a bit in places. Continue stirring, the caramel will melt back down after a minute or two.
  11. Continue to cook the apples on high heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid they released has been cooked out and the caramel is thick again.
  12. Add the cream, butter, and salt to the pan, stirring constantly(protect your hands from splattering with oven mitts). The mixture will froth and bubble. Continue cooking(on high heat) until it settles back down.
  13. Once the mixture is glossy and smooth, remove from heat.
  14. Pour the caramel apples over the top of the baked crust. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the caramel apples.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes, or until caramel is bubbly and the crumble is lightly golden brown.
  16. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting....I would even recommend refrigerating it for several hours before cutting it so that the caramel will firmly set up.
  17. Serve cold.
Recipe by The Kitchen McCabe at