Apple Pie A La Mode Dessert Bars

Apple Pie A La Mode Dessert Bars

Last Saturday we picked up some incredibly juicy Jonathan apples at the Farmers’ Market, and as soon as I bit into one I knew I wanted to make apple pie bars.  The minor tragedy is that we ate so many of those apples that I only had a few left, so I had to supplement with some Granny Smith apples.  These things happen.

Use tart, firm apples for this recipe, and if you like a really sweet bar cookie you can increase the sugar a little bit in the apple filling.  I like the look of leaving the peels on (and they would be prettier if I had used all red apples), so if you have organic, unwaxed apples, just grate them unpeeled.

The “a la mode” addition was probably because I wanted ice cream and we are tragically out of that essential substance, so I punted and made this creamy topping.  Harrison deemed these “stupendous,” so I think I can call this recipe a success.

Apple Pie A La Mode Dessert Bars
Vanilla Shortbread Crust
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Apple Layer
4 cups grated fresh apple (about 6 medium apples)
1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch

A La Mode Layer
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray to coat.

For the crust, use a fork to blend the butter into the flour and sugar until it is fully incorporated.  Stir in the vanilla, then press the crust evenly into the prepared baking pan.

For the apple layer, stir together all ingredients and spread evenly over the crust.

Whisk the A La Mode ingredients until smooth, and pour evenly over the apple layer.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the center of the cream cheese layer looks set and does not jiggle when you shake the pan.  Cool completely before cutting into small squares to serve.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Oh wow Angela, these look fantastic. I love the a la mode layer. I might have saved these for a contest they look so good.

  2. Thanks Karen! It has been so long since I entered anything it is kind of off of my radar–I need to get back into it.

  3. Wow. NOM.

  4. totally mouth watering here~

  5. Just had one for breakfast. They get better with age…

  6. Yikes–these are good looking! I'm going to the apple orchard today…I want to try this with the grated apple peel.

  7. Oh yum. I think I will be making these very soon. Thanks for sharing.

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