Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lightly Spiced Baked Apple Bars

These delicious baked apple bars are subtly spiced with cinnamon, mixed spice and lemon zest. Made using only wholesome ingredients they are far tastier than store bought fruit bars, which often contain many unnecessary ingredients too. I have used coconut oil in place of butter, and naturally sweetened them with honey, making them free of dairy and refined sugar!

                                                     These fill the kitchen with the most divine apple pie aromas!

                                                   The perfect sweet treat any time, or great for packed lunches.

Be sure to cool the apple mixture completely before placing onto the dough. Otherwise you may end up with a sticky mess.

          Try to use good quality cooking apples that will hold their shape, you don't want to end up with apple sauce...

Makes 20 bars

2 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla essence (the real stuff)
a large pinch of good quality salt
1/3 cup raw honey
1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Filling
4 cooking apples, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp honey

Apple Filling
Bring the diced apple to a simmer in a small saucepan with the water and lemon juice. Simmer for between 5 and 10 minutes until the apple is tender but still intact. Take off heat and drain off any liquid. Add remaining ingredients and mix through, set aside to cool while you make the dough.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the first six ingredients into a food processor, mix until throughly combined. Sift in remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. The dough should be a bit sticky but easily worked into a ball (like pastry). Add a little extra flour if needed to get this result. Put the dough (covered) in the fridge for about an hour to firm up. Once firm, roll the dough out on a floured surface. I tried to roll mine as square as possible. Trim the rough edges if you like, otherwise leave them for a rustic look. Once the dough is rolled out, spread the cooled apple mixture onto half of the dough (see picture above). Fold one half of the dough onto the other and cut into squares. Place onto a lined baking sheet and bake for around 15 minutes or until golden and smelling wonderful. Cool on a wire rack before placing into an air tight container. Keep in fridge in warm weather.

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