You can barely shake a virtual stick at the internet right now without being bombarded with tales of this year’s bumper apple harvest, so I have just the thing for you with these Apple Crumble Caramel Bars.
If you’re lucky, you might have an actual stick to shake at an apple tree, and a lovely basket full of apples to make some tasty seasonal recipes with.
Either way, this is one apple recipe that I think you’ll really like.
Bearing witness to my Instagram feed filling up with crumble (which is no bad thing at all) got me thinking of alternative ways to enjoy this family-favourite in an ‘everyday-not-having-to-make-a-whole-pudding’ sense.
I wanted something that was Autumnal, wholesome, suitable for breakfast (and walks on the beach) and slightly decadent. So I came up with these bars, which with the addition of a lightly-salted home made caramel, tick all of those boxes.
They are so delicious I can’t stop making and eating them…
These bars are:
- a real celebration of October: apples, almonds, cinnamon, caramel, and ginger;
- easy to make and only have 8 ingredients;
- full of apple goodness, including fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants;
- deceptively wholesome, with only a little oil and maple syrup; and
- perfect for breakfast, pudding and as a coffee-break snack;
I’ve been incorporating dates into my baking for a long time now, but usually as part of a batter (like these ever-popular Black Bean Brownies), but they also work so well as a sauce. Making caramel from dates is really easy – not to mention absolutely delicious – and I can’t wait to experiment with ways to incorporate this as salted caramel in lots of new cake recipes.
This is also a really adaptable recipe: if you can’t eat nuts, leave out the almonds. Fancy some berries in your crumble bars? Throw some in!
What’s your favourite crumble combination?
- 2 eating apples (I used Braeburn)
- 25 ml water, for cooking
- 150g rolled oats + 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- 75g ground almonds
- 1 heaped tsp cinnamon + extra for sprinkling
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp solid coconut oil, melted
- 25 ml water
- 10 dates, pitted
- 125 ml water
- ¼ tsp good salt (such as Himalayan pink)
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Core and very thinly slice the apples. Place these in a pan with the water on a high heat and cook for 5 minutes only - you're looking to soften them up a little prior to baking in the oven.
- Blitz the oats (minus the extra tbsp) in a food processor until you have a flour. Tip this into a mixing bowl and combine with the ground almonds, cinnamon and ginger. Now add the water and melted coconut oil and roughly combine using your fingertips, as if you were making a regular crumble.
- Line a tin (I used 28cm enamelware pie tin) with parchment and firmly press down the crumble, leaving 2 tbsp aside for the topping.
- To make the caramel, place the dates, water and salt in the food processor and blitz on a high speed until you have a smooth, combined sauce. Pour this into the pan with the apples and give it a good stir.
- Spoon the apple and caramel mixture onto the crumble base to create an even layer. To finish, sprinkle the remaining crumble, oats and cinnamon onto the top.
- Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. Once ready, leave for 10 minutes or so to set, then slice and store in the fridge. These will keep for a week in an airtight container.
If you want to achieve a more 'salted caramel' effect, add in more salt, and stir larger granules into the caramel, rather than blending it all together.