I’ve been craving apple crisp for something like 4 months now. You’ve heard the advice that when you experience a food craving, just wait 10 minutes before giving in and it’ll go away? Not so effective when your unsatisfied cravings hang around for weeks at a time. Early in my pregnancy with Darcy, I had the most ferocious cravings for peach pie. Not just any peach pie—homemade peach pie. And not just any homemade peach pie—the exact homemade peach pie that my neighbor made for us when we first moved into the neighborhood over a year earlier, made with homegrown peaches from the tree in her backyard. Needless to say, that was one tough craving to fulfill.
I’m getting off track. Back to apple desserts. I’ve been wanting apple crisp for the longest time, and finally picked up a bunch of granny smith apples and vanilla ice cream so I could make it. After all that waiting, the ice cream was gone the day after I bought it, before I even got the chance to make the dang apple crisp. (Jeff is the biggest ice cream addict I’ve ever known. If there’s ice cream in the freezer, he has been known to sleepwalk downstairs in the middle of the night, eat a bowl of ice cream, then come back to bed.)
Anyway, the apple crisp never got made, because what’s apple crisp without vanilla ice cream? (Sidebar: I’ve talked about 3 separate desserts in this post so far without actually getting to the one I intended to post about. My train of thoughts often suffers catastrophic derailments.) Instead, I used some of my apples to make these bars using a fantastic recipe from my aunt Emily in our family cookbook. I tell you, my aunts sure know how to bake. And although it isn’t apple crisp, it definitely filled the apple crisp-shaped hole in my soul. I love these bars—moist and sweet and a little bit tart, with a rich buttery crust. So delicious.
Sour Cream Apple Bars
2 cups flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
8 ounces sour cream (I used low-fat)
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 - 3 cups peeled, finely chopped Granny Smith apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar, and cut in the butter until the mixture is fine and sandy. Measure out 2 3/4 cups of this mixture and press it into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan. It will be very crumbly and dry at this point and won’t really pack/stick together in the pan—that’s fine, it will bake up really nicely!
Add the sour cream, egg, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to the reserved crust mixture and mix well. Fold in the chopped apples and spread over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. Let cool in pan, then slice into squares.
And when you can’t stop eating them, don’t blame me. Blame my aunt Emily. It is her recipe, after all.