My all-time favorite pie is apple pie (although this earl grey pie comes pretty darn close). Digging into warm buttery crust filled to the brim with cinnamon-spiced apples all served with vanilla ice cream is the dream. I rarely make apple pie but this year I wanted to make a dessert with respect to the classic pie. By adding a pretzel crust and peanut pretzel streusel, I’ve created apple pretzel pie bars, which I will admit, is much easier to make. These bars are a fun version of apple pie and oh so delicious!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Dessert bars are the best because they’re portable, easy to eat, and just darn good. These apple pretzel pie bars are no different.
The key ingredients you will need to prepare this dessert are pretzels, peanuts, granny smith apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Brown sugar and cinnamon are the main flavor components, making these bars a true fall dessert. I chose granny smith apples for a more tart apple pie bar but you can use sweet apples such as pink lady, golden delicious or Braeburn instead.
Start by making the pretzel crust. A food processor will become your best friend when chopping up the pretzels, turning the snack into small crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, put the pretzels in a Ziploc bag and pound them with a mallet. Mix the pretzel crumbs with the remaining ingredients and press them into your prepared baking dish.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes and let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, slice and season the apples with brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cornstarch, lemon, and vanilla. Pour the apples with all of its juices into the crust, gently pressing down on the apples to fill in any gaps.
Finally, make the peanut pretzel streusel. Use roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopping them into small pieces. You can also use a food processor to chop the peanuts. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the apples and bake the pie for about 45 minutes – 1 hour. If a knife can easily pierce through the apples, the pie is ready.
As tempting as it is to dig into the apple pie immediately, let it cool before slicing. The colder the pie is, the easier it will be to cut into.
If the pie bars are cold when you are ready to serve, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes to warm them up. And of course, you can’t forget the vanilla ice cream. If you used granny smith apples, a little of caramel sauce doesn’t hurt either!
These apple pretzel pie bars are everything I wanted: tons of apples, lovely notes of cinnamon, and incredibly tasty.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.